Gaza and government bonds among Belgium's most frequently Googled subjects of 2023

The war between Israel and Hamas dominated Google searches in Belgium in 2023, the company’s Belgian subsidiary reported on Monday. The most searched topics of the year also include the government bond, actor Matthew Perry and the film Oppenheimer.

In 2022, the war in Ukraine dominated search results. In the news category, this has been replaced by the war in Gaza. This year’s most frequent searches also include the terrorist attack in Brussels on 16 October, in which two Swedish men were killed, and the Indian Chandrayaan-3 lunar mission. 

Aid worker Olivier Vandecasteele, who was released in May after 455 days in detention in Iran, was one of Belgium’s most searched people this year, ahead of former VRT radio presenter Sven Pichal and Flemish actor Boris Van Severen.

Among sports personalities, the most searched is Luca Brecel, the Belgian who became world snooker champion in May, followed by cyclist Lotte Kopecky, who became world road cycling champion and finished second in the Tour de France. Footballer David Beckham, who had his own series on Netflix this year, was the third most popular search.

The Tour de France, the French Open tennis, the Rugby World Cup and the women’s football World Cup attracted the most searches for sporting events.

Oppenheimer, released this summer, took first place in the films, series and TV programmes category. Its rival Barbie came third, behind the Eurovision Song Contest. The winner of the contest, Sweden’s Loreen, is one of the most searched musical artists in Belgium this year. Beyoncé and Harry Styles, who stopped off in Belgium on their world tours, also feature in the rankings.

The most frequently asked questions were “How to buy government bonds”, “What is PFAS?” and “What is EVRAS?”. Google users in Belgium also asked: “Why were chainsaws invented?”, “Why is the sky blue?”, “How did Mickey Mouse die?” and “How do you cheat at Scrabble?”



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