Google’s top UK searches in 2023: from Barbie to Matthew Perry

As the year comes to an end, it’s time to look back at our collective browser history and see what the UK’s top Google searches were for 2023.

The Rugby World Cup, Happy Valley and blockbuster movie Oppenheimer were among some of the top searches, Google has said as it reveals the data for this year.

As for royal family and TV fanatics, it seems that many of us asked Google: “when is the Coronation?” and of course “when does Love Island start?”.

The death of the much-loved Friends star, Matthew Perry, shook the world and as many of us mourned together, we also searched for answers as to what happened.

Sometimes we can be stuck in quite a pickle and searching for the perfect “how to” solution is what Google often helps us with. According to the tech giant, the most searched “how to” was “how to watch the Champions League Final”.

And it seems we can’t get our minds off artificial intelligence (AI), after ChatGPT’s launch, many began to search for “What is generative AI?” – the technology behind such chatbots – was the most googled AI-related question of the year in the UK.

In the world of sports, the Women’s World Cup came in second place as the most-searched sporting event, after the Rugby World Cup and ahead of the Ashes. Tommy Fury was the most searched athlete – ahead of England men’s football captain Harry Kane, who came second.

2023’s most searched movies included Oppenheimer (Getty Images)
2023’s most searched movies included Oppenheimer (Getty Images)

Sam Smith became the most Googled musician, followed by Arctic Monkeys and Lil Tay. Times Person Of the Year, Taylor Swift was tenth on the list.

In films, Oppenheimer was just ahead of Barbie and Guardians of the Galaxy, while Happy Valley was the top TV search ahead of The Last Of Us.

Matt Cooke, head of Google News Lab, said: “As we reach the end of 2023, it’s refreshing to be reminded of everything we enjoyed throughout the year – which otherwise had its fair share of challenging moments for the UK and the world.

“From David Beckham’s return to the spotlight, to Barbie vs Oppenheimer, to the highs of England’s sporting successes, we’ve had moments to keep us smiling despite difficult times.”

Google marked its 25th anniversary in September and revealed its global top 10 most searched terms ever, with the Great Wall of China leading the list.

“As Google celebrates its 25th birthday, it’s also been fun to take a trip down memory lane with our all-time most searched list, seeing Drake taking on The Beatles, and interest in some of the world’s most ancient attractions still going strong,” Mr Cooke added.

“It’s also incredibly inspiring to see the stratospheric rise of Greta Thunberg capturing hearts and minds across the world, and the enduring legacy of Martin Luther King Jr doing the same. “As always, we’re thrilled that people worldwide continue to turn to Google when they want to learn, discover, explore, or simply sing along to their favourite Disney films.”

Additional reporting from PA