What were the most popular search terms of 2023?

New York Life | December 12, 2023

People searched for all sorts of things in 2023 - these are the top search words we found most interesting.

A person browsing the Google search engine on their laptop

In 2023, the U.S. women’s soccer team prompted millions of American internet users to search for “world cup,” while nearly as many others sought to discover “ChatGPT.”

Here are 10 of the most popular search terms – those we found most relevant and interesting – from the past year in the U.S. according to Google and other search engines. We’ll bet you’ve typed in at least one or two of them!

1. The American Dream

The American Dream is embedded into the national feeling of the U.S. The ethos: If you work hard enough, you can go far. Living the American Dream isn’t cheap though – it now costs $3.4 million over a lifetime.1 As costs rise faster than wages, people are finding it harder to buy their first car let alone afford a downpayment on their first house. From lifetime medical care and going to college to getting married and saving for retirement, Americans are asking how to make their American Dream a reality.

2. Amazon

Amazon not only tops the charts in ecommerce and cloud computing (with its Amazon Web Services subsidiary), but in Google search terms too. While competing with Netflix on binge-worthy TV shows with its Amazon Prime subscripti0n service, Amazon’s online store receives over 2 billion visits per month by shoppers seeking the convenience of buying stuff without leaving home.2 In the spirit of the season, here are some holiday tips on how to spend smarter online.

3. Savings

The cost-of-living crisis has made it harder for Americans to save money. Inflation has hiked prices so much that, for many, getting to the end of the month without dipping into credit or savings has become near-impossible. So, it’s no wonder many people are searching for savings tips on sites like Investopedia. The internet is full of advice on how to spend smarter and boost your nest egg.

4. Weather

Weather phenomena continue to make global news headlines. From blizzards and freezing temperatures to hurricanes and scorching heatwaves, the weather affects us all, and everybody wants to be prepared. Planning ahead always makes sense, whether it’s saving money for a rainy day or taking out insurance to protect you and your loved ones.

5. Bank Failure

The 2008 financial crisis instilled a lot of uncertainty among ordinary people. Some people lost their trust in banks as a result. This year, the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank prompted renewed worry and mistrust, with internet users looking for answers to questions about “bank failure” in search engines like Investopedia. While seeking reassurance can calm your financial worries – the FDIC protects up to $250,000 – you can always spread your savings across multiple bank accounts.3

6. (Google) Translate

Many of us now use Google Translate, which supports over 100 languages, to translate a word or phrase into another language. It’s no secret that having a translator in your pocket makes travelling abroad easy as pie. But whether you’re on vacation, studying for your foreign languages major, or just plain bored – ¡Qué aburrimiento– getting instant translations is useful, and a little fun.

7. Walmart

The world’s biggest retailer is the go-to hypermarket of the U.S. From buying household staples to holiday shopping, it’s no wonder so many people are Googling Walmart, whose domestic ecommerce sales are predicted to exceed $60 billion in 2024.4 As consumers continue to shift from in-store to online purchasing, traditional retailers like Walmart are increasing their digital presence to compete and remain relevant.

8. ChatGPT

ChatGPT has taken the world by artificial storm. This AI chatbot, released to the public in late 2022, can generate content faster than most humans, albeit not always as accurate. From increased productivity to concerns over misinformation, ChatGPT has divided opinion, though all agree that its possibilities seem endless. Learn more about Generative AI here.

9. Netflix

Whether it was users seeking to log in to the streaming service or find out which new true crime series is gripping the nation, Netflix was top of mind when it came to Google searches in 2023. People are watching less live TV in favor of on-demand viewing, and at 231 million worldwide subscribers, Netflix holds the top streaming service spot.5 Paying for too many subscriptions like Netflix? Read our tips on how to cut back.

10. World Cup

The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup heralded the end of an era for a U.S. team that had dominated the tournament for 12 years. The popularity of this year’s competition in Australia and New Zealand goes to show that women’s soccer is not only on par with men’s, but unstoppable. In the U.S., a record average of 4.3 million viewers watched the national group stage matches.6 Did you know, following your sporting passions can teach us a lot about career success?


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Media contact

Kevin Maher
New York Life Insurance Company
(212) 576-7937