Google’s Moving Year in Search Video Shows How We Got Through the Hell of 2017

Hurricanes, gun violence, threats of nuclear war

Google's video focuses on the perseverance of the human spirit. Google
Headshot of Kristina Monllos

If you were confused by the levity of YouTube’s Year in Review video Google’s Year in Search will serve as a nice counterpoint. The search giant’s recap of 2017 includes footage of wildfires, hurricanes, gun violence, threats of nuclear war, protests and so much more—pretty much 2017 in a nutshell. Yet, Google managed to make all this uplifting.

Using Harry Styles’ “Sign of the Times,” Google’s video shows the perseverance of the human spirit and may even inspire you to make a difference for the people still reeling from the various tragedies we’ve seen this year. It also manages to provide comfort with a “you’re not alone” vibe, reminding you that others are feeling that sense of powerlessness and existential dread, too—and that if we come together, we can let those feelings drive us to change the world.

The two-minute spot uses dialogue sparingly, but the snippets that it does use are words of hope and inspiration, such as an excerpt of  Lena Waithe’s acceptance speech at the Emmys: “The things that make us different, those are our superpowers … go out there and conquer the world, because the world would not be as beautiful as it is if we weren’t in it.”

Google also gathered some of the year’s top searches, and some of them are a real punch to the gut. Check some of them out below (see more here):


  1. Hurricane Irma
  2. Matt Lauer
  3. Tom Petty
  4. Super Bowl
  5. Las Vegas Shooting
  6. Mayweather vs McGregor Fight
  7. Solar Eclipse
  8. Hurricane Harvey
  9. Aaron Hernandez
  10. Fidget Spinner


  1. Cash Me Outside Meme
  2. United Airlines Meme
  3. Elf on the Shelf Meme
  4. What in Tarnation Meme
  5. Spongebob Mocking Meme
  6. Romper Meme
  7. IT Meme
  8. Joe Biden Meme
  9. Game of Thrones Meme
  10. Hot dog meme


  1. Matt Lauer
  2. Meghan Markle
  3. Harvey Weinstein
  4. Michael Flynn
  5. Kevin Spacey
  6. Bill O’Reilly
  7. Melania Trump
  8. Kathy Griffin
  9. Milo Yiannopoulos
  10. Gal Gadot


  1. Hurricane Irma
  2. Las Vegas Shooting
  3. Solar Eclipse
  4. Hurricane Harvey
  5. Bitcoin Price
  6. North Korea
  7. Hurricane Jose
  8. Hurricane Maria
  9. April the Giraffe
  10. DACA


  1. Tom Petty
  2. Aaron Hernandez
  3. Chris Cornell
  4. Bill Paxton
  5. Hugh Hefner
  6. Chester Bennington
  7. Charlie Murphy
  8. Lil Peep
  9. Jim Nabors
  10. David Cassidy

How to…

  1. How to make slime
  2. How to make solar eclipse glasses
  3. How to watch the solar eclipse
  4. How to watch Mayweather vs McGregor
  5. How to buy Bitcoin
  6. How to freeze your credit
  7. How to solve a Rubix Cube
  8. How to make a fidget spinner
  9. How to cook a turkey in the oven
  10. How to screen record

What is…

  1. What is DACA?
  2. What is Bitcoin?
  3. What is a solar eclipse?
  4. What is antifa?
  5. What is net neutrality?
  6. What is covfefe?
  7. What is the antikythera mechanism?
  8. What is a fidget spinner?
  9. What is the Paris Climate Agreement?
  10. What is a hurricane?


  1. IT
  2. Beauty and the Beast
  3. Wonder Woman
  4. Get Out
  5. Justice League
  6. Logan
  7. Baby Driver
  8. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
  9. Hidden Figures
  10. Dunkirk


  1. Meghan Markle
  2. Kevin Spacey
  3. Gal Gadot
  4. Louis C.K
  5. Meryl Streep
  6. Bill Skarsgård
  7. Millie Bobby Brown
  8. Tom Holland
  9. Maia Campbell
  10. Tommy Wiseau


  1. Despacito
  2. Humble
  3. Bad and Boujee
  4. Look What You Made Me Do
  5. Bodak Yellow
  6. Gucci Gang
  7. Havana
  8. Shape of you
  9. Mask Off
  10. Side to Side

TV Shows

  1. 13 Reasons Why
  2. Game of Thrones
  3. This Is Us
  4. Iron Fist
  5. Riverdale
  6. Bachelor in Paradise
  7. The Good Doctor
  8. Santa Clarita Diet
  9. Big Little Lies
  10. American Gods

@KristinaMonllos Kristina Monllos is a senior editor for Adweek.
Publish date: December 13, 2017 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT