Google’s most popular search terms in Leeds in 2016

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A sonic boom heard over the city back in May led to the most popular Google search in Leeds during 2016.

The search engine has now released a list of the most commonly searched words and questions in the UK during the past year.

‘What is a sonic boom?’ was the question on every Leeds resident’s lips on the evening of May 2, when two RAF Typhoon jets were scrambled from a base in Lincolnshire to intercept an Air France passenger jet which reported a radio communication problem while flying to Newcastle Airport. It landed safely.

The two huge ‘explosions’ shook the city, with some people posting photos on social media of greenhouses with smashed glass panes after the aircraft broke the sound barrier.

The Euro 2016 football championships, singer David Bowie’s death and the Pokemon Go game were also popular searches among Leeds web users.

In neighbouring Bradford, large numbers of people Googled queries about bio-power, while Sheffield residents wanted to know currency conversion rates between sterling and Pakistani rupees.

Nationally, the top 10 search terms were: Euro 2016; Pokemon Go; David Bowie; Donald Trump; Prince; EU referendum; Alan Rickman; Olympics; US election and the movie Deadpool.

Brexit was the most Googled news event, narrowly beating the US election into second spot, followed by Hurricane Matthew, the Brussels terror attack, Zika virus, clowns, Harambe the gorilla, the Toblerone controversy, BHS store closures and the Nice terror attack.

As well as popstars Bowie and Prince and actor Rickman, British web browsers also Googled comedian Victoria Wood, boxer Muhammad Ali, entertainer Terry Wogan and actress Caroline Aherne in large numbers following their deaths.

Trump and new prime minister Theresa May were the most Googled politicians, followed by the murdered Batley and Spen MP, Jo Cox, Hilary Clinton and Boris Johnson. Trump’s wife Melania, although not a politician herself, was number six on the list above Nigel Farage and new mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

The list of the most Googled celebrity men few up some surprises - Irish UFC star Conor McGregor came out on top, above reality TV star Sam Reece. Footballer Wayne Bridge, who recently appeared on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, was fourth behind high-profile Manchester United player Paul Pogba. Singer Michael Buble appears on the list, possibly after his son’s recent cancer diagnosis, as does Brad Pitt following his high-profile split from Angelina Jolie, and US record-breaking swimmer Michael Phelps.

Prince Harry’s new girlfriend, actress Meghan Markle, topped the charts for the most searched-for women, followed by reality TV personality Stephanie Davis and X-Factor contestant Honey G. Carol Vorderman, singer Kesha, Bowie’s wife Angie, reality TV star Megan McKenna and Olympic cyclist Laura Trott also appear in the top 10.

The most-Googled movies for British film fans were Deadpool, Suicide Squad and The Revenant, while the protracted Paul Pogba transfer saga saw him become the most Googled footballer, narrowly above England’s Jamie Vardy and Northern Ireland’s Will Grigg.

Generic questions bugging the British public included ‘what is Pokemon Go?’ and definitions of Brexit, Article 50, the single market and Bastille Day.

Users also wanted to know where Brussels and their nearest polling station were, and the filming location of the reality TV show Love Island.

Fashionistas wanted to know how to remove ink stains from clothes and how to tie a Windsor knot, while the most Googled TV shows were Strictly Come Dancing, Celebrity Big Brother and Netflix’s Making a Murderer.

Food lovers Googled recipes for blueberry wine most often, followed by Greek salad and jaffa cakes. They also wanted to know how to make fish batter, Yorkshire puddings, mashed potatoes, meatballs and churros.

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