Every year, we reflect on the moments that made us smile from ear to ear, or kept us gripped to our screens, in our annual Year in Search. It was a year in which we were affected by the death of a beloved comedian, and watched world news unfold about an horrific plane crash and a terrifying disease. We were captivated by amazing goals, and had our fun with digital birds, a bucket of ice, and a goat simulator.

Watch our video to rediscover the events, people and topics that defined 2014:

All the world’s a stage
Nothing brings people together like sports, and 2014 had one of the biggest athletic events in recent memory. The World Cup in Brazil had its fair share of unforgettable moments and had people glued to their TVs and mobile devices all summer. From Luis Suarez’s bite heard around the world, to Tim Howard's superman performance vs. Belgium, to Germany’s incredible run to their fourth title, the competition certainly lived up to its reputation and topped the charts. In other sports news, Kiwis were proud of New Zealand’s 45 medals in this year’s Commonwealth Games -- though many people had to ask Google ask “Where is Glasgow”?

Goodbye, genie
“You're only given a little spark of madness, you mustn't lose it.” The passing of beloved comedian and actor Robin Williams shook the world, bringing many people online to search for more information and to remember—and putting Williams in the #2 spot on our New Zealand trends charts. There was also an uptick in searches related to depression and mental health in the days following his death. People revisited his iconic roles in movies like Aladdin and Dead Poets Society and found solace in gifs and memes that captured Williams’ spirit.

Into the unknown
How could a plane vanish? In the wake of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, that question propelled the mystery to the global trends charts. As the investigation continued on the ground and online, people stayed hopeful for a happy ending despite the dim odds; searches for “mh370 found” outnumbered searches for “mh370 lost.”

Closer to home, we remembered and reflected on the life of Charlotte Dawson. We also searched for more information about the global Ebola crisis, Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence, and the emergence of the wildly successful (or annoying?) mobile game Flappy Bird. For the tech savvy, the iPhone 6 was a popular gadget this year, and the rebranding of Telecom New Zealand to Spark looks to have paid off.

Here’s the full list of our top 10 trending searches in New Zealand:
Trending Searches
1. FIFA World Cup
2. Robin Williams
3. Commonwealth Games
4. Malaysia Airlines
5. iPhone 6
6. Jennifer Lawrence
7. Charlotte Dawson
8. Flappy Bird
9. Spark
10. Ebola

You can find more on these top searches and more at

In other news...
Kiwis were captivated by important global events ranging from Cyclone Ita to Scottish Independence, while also being distracted by news of a good-looking young man called Alex From Target. We looked to the stars to tune in to the Lunar Eclipse and focused our attentions back closer to home to monitor the development of Cyclone Lusi.

To better understand our world, we asked questions like What is ALS, Where is Sochi and wanted to learn how to draw (and even how to dream!). We also quickly searched for new digital lingo like Doge, Neknominate, Goat Simulator and Ello to get up to speed (just in case our friends asked us about these new crazes)...

Explore the stories from the year, one chapter at a time
On our Year in Search site you can take an in-depth look at the stories that made 2014 unforgettable. From the rise of the selfie, to understanding if we search for “how” more than “why,” each chapter shares a glimpse into the people and events that drove this year forward.
We've also made it easier to find the trending topics of the year directly from Google Search. For the first time, a simple search for [google 2014] will give you a peek at what made the top trending lists from around the world. And you can follow more insights from the year with #YearInSearch. So take a moment to appreciate what this year had to offer. It’ll be 2015 before you know it.

Trending Searches
1. FIFA World Cup
2. Robin Williams
3. Commonwealth Games
4. Malaysia Airlines
5. iPhone 6
6. Jennifer Lawrence
7. Charlotte Dawson
8. Flappy Bird
9. Spark
10. Ebola
How to… (Most Searched)
1. Draw
2. Meditate
3. Crochet
4. Screenshot
5. Kiss
6. Pronounce
7. Sing
8. Twerk
9. Knit
10. Dream
What is… ? (Most Searched)
1. Ebola
2. Love
3. Gluten
4. ALS
5. Sustainability
6. Illuminati
7. Science
8. Paleo
9. Tahini
10. Bipolar
News items of 2014 (Trending)
1. Malaysian Airlines Crash
2. Cyclone Lusi
3. Scottish Independence
4. Alex From Target
5. Ukraine News
6. Robin Williams Death
7. Ebola Outbreak
8. Wellington Earthquake
9. Cyclone Ita
10. Lunar Eclipse
Kiwis (Trending)
1. Lorde
2. Aaron Smith
3. Rachel Smalley
4. Lisa Lewis
5. Mark Hunt
6. Joseph Parker
7. Benji Marshall
8. Chris Cairns
9. Mona Dotcom
10. Stephen Donald
Global People (Trending)
1. Jennifer Lawrence
2. Michael Schumacher
3. Schapelle Corby
4. Iggy Azalea
5. Renee Zellweger
6. Todd Carney
7. Margot Robbie
8. Oscar Pistorius
9. Ellen Page
10. Rolf Harris
Recipes (Most Searched)
1. Pancake Recipe
2. Banana Cake Recipe
3. Chicken Recipes
4. Cupcake Recipe
5. Mince Recipes
6. Chocolate Cake Recipe
7. Lasagna Recipe
8. Brownie Recipe
9. Slow Cooker Recipes
10. Cheesecake Recipes
Where is… ? (Most Searched)
1. Gallipoli
2. Glasgow
3. Sochi
4. Tibet
5. Amsterdam
6. Nepal
7. Kurdistan
8. Kawau
9. Balclutha
10. Budapest
Digital / Internet Lingo (Trending)
1. Tinder
2. Goat Simulator
3. Bitcoin
4. Doge
5. Ello
6. Neknominate
7. Selfie
8. Pixelmon
9. Click Madness
10. Vines
Trending Searches: What was hot in 2014? The "trending" queries are the searches that had the highest spike in traffic over a sustained period in 2014 as compared to 2013.
Most Searched: What topped Google’s charts? The "most searched" queries are the most popular terms for 2014—ranked in order by volume of searches.

Whether it’s Lorde’s latest hit or your favourite Lord of the Rings film, Kiwi entertainment lovers can now use a Chromecast to bring their favourite content from a phone, tablet or laptop to the biggest screen in the home — the TV. A streaming media device that plugs into any HDTV in your house, Chromecast makes it easy to watch holiday flicks with the kids or the latest in the Batman series on the big screen.

Fast and easy to setup, Chromecast tucks neatly away behind your TV and works with Android, iOS, Windows, Mac and Chrome OS devices. It taps into the same experience of using apps and browsing the web that you’re familiar with on your smartphone, tablet, and laptop, so there’s nothing new to learn. You can cast from your Chrome browser, phone or tablet by simply opening a supported app or the browser and pressing the cast icon.
With Chromecast, your phone, tablet or laptop acts like a remote, but unlike other streaming solutions, you can still multitask. This means you can continue to laugh at Mutant Giant Spider Dog on the TV and send an email to your friends to tell them how great it is at the same time.

Chromecast in New Zealand supports YouTube, Google Play Music and Google Play Movies as well as apps from local partners Quickflix and Pandora. With the the open software development kit (SDK), any developer can integrate their app or website with Cast to make their content available and we’re looking forward to seeing the range of great TV shows, movies, music and more from local content creators which will soon be available for Kiwi audiences.

You can pick up a Chromecast from JB Hi-Fi, Dick Smiths, The Warehouse or Noel Leeming.

2014 was chock full of YouTube moments that got everybody talking. We were pranked by a spider dog in Poland, learned about airline safety in paradise, and watched total strangers share a first kiss. We laughed, we cried, and yes, we sang along to “Let It Go” roughly a bajillion times.

Here are the top trending videos for 2014 in New Zealand, based on views, shares, comments, likes and more. This year, the list represents the amazing variety of creativity brought to YouTube each day, including social commentaries, pranks, advertisements, and thrilling moments from traditional media and big names on YouTube. Collectively these 10 videos have hundreds of millions of views and more than 16 million cumulative subscribers who regularly return to check out their latest vids.

  1. FROZEN - Let It Go Sing-along | Official Disney HD
  2. Bars & Melody - Simon Cowell's Golden Buzzer act | Britain's Got Talent 2014
  3. Wheels On The Bus | Plus Lots More Nursery Rhymes | 54 Minutes Compilation from LittleBabyBum!
  4. Look Up
  5. Mutant Giant Spider Dog (SA Wardega)
  6. Safety in Paradise #airnzsafetyvideo
  8. Giant Princess Egg Kinder Surprise Disney Frozen 3D Olaf Elsa Anna Giant Minnie Mickey Play Doh Eggs
  10. Lip Sync Battle with Emma Stone

When it comes to music in New Zealand this year, it was all about the bass. 2014 was a year of powerful female artists, as you can see from our list of top music videos where women artists took seven of the top 10 spots. The top 10 music videos were collectively played billions of times.

  1. Meghan Trainor - All About That Bass
  2. Iggy Azalea - Fancy (Explicit) ft. Charli XCX
  3. Taylor Swift - Shake It Off
  4. Nicki Minaj - Anaconda
  5. Katy Perry - Dark Horse (Official) ft. Juicy J
  6. Chris Brown - Loyal (Explicit) ft. Lil Wayne, Tyga
  7. Sia - Chandelier (Official Video)
  8. Ariana Grande - Problem ft. Iggy Azalea
  9. Jason Derulo - "Wiggle" feat. Snoop Dogg (Official HD Music Video)
  10. Sam Smith - Stay With Me

Check out our YouTube Rewind channel for more top videos of the year from around the world, and our main YouTube channel to see a mashup of the top branded videos of the year and a list of the top ads YouTube for the year. Be sure to visit and check back at our blog next week for Google's annual look at the people, places and events that captured the world's attention.

Dunedin was today announced as the winner of Chorus’ Gigatown competition, edging out 49 other towns for the chance to become the first in New Zealand to get access to gigabit speed fibre internet. This means that in addition to having the world's steepest residential street, Dunedin will also have New Zealand’s fastest internet: ten times the speed of the fastest fibre broadband currently available.

The competition showed just how popular fast internet is among Kiwis. In fact, if the 132,780 people who signed up to support Gigatown all lived in one place, it would be New Zealand’s 4th largest city, bigger than Hamilton.

Faster internet delivers benefits well beyond better surfing, smoother video and less buffering. It helps make education more fun, interactive and engaging. Students can look forward to taking online classes, connecting with students across the globe or tuning in live to lectures.

Faster internet is also set to become a driving force behind the medical and healthcare applications of the future. Being able to see a doctor remotely, for example, can reduce the need for hospital visits for children with serious health conditions, the elderly and patients with mobility challenges.

And it’s great for small business in New Zealand, helping them create virtual shopfronts to deliver Kiwi products to customers locally - and to export to the world.

It’s great to see people around the country making the most the net. For the lucky residents of Dunedin in particular, it looks like the benefits of faster internet and being connected are set to deliver. Giga time.

Posted by Ross Young, Public Policy Manager, New Zealand

In time for the epic conclusion to the Hobbit trilogy we’ve updated the Chrome Experiment, “A Journey Through Middle-earth.” Whether you’re a hobbit, wizard or dwarf (oh yeah, humans too) you can now relive all of the epic Middle-earth adventures, from Frodo’s journey to Mount Doom in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring to Bilbo’s final battle in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, in theaters December 17th. This year's Chrome Experiment was developed by North Kingdom in collaboration with Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM).

Your adventure starts on a beautiful, interactive map of Middle-earth where you can explore all 27 locations from the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit film trilogies. This year’s map is rich with 3D animations highlighting the paths of eight key characters, including Bilbo, Gandalf and Bard.

Completely new for this year’s version is a peer-to-peer battle game where you can challenge your friends to a test of skill. The peer-to-peer gameplay experience was built primarily using the latest web technologies, including WebRTC and WebGL. It’s touch optimized for laptops, phones and tablets, bringing you a stunning interactive experience across all your devices.

Just go to on your laptop, phone or tablet to check out the latest Chrome Experiment, “A Journey through Middle-earth.”

And for those of you who are more interested in geeking out about web development than exploring Middle-earth, check out our technical case study on

What do The Room, The Amazing Spider-man 2, and Six60’s album all have in common?
Kiwis can now use Google Play gift cards to purchase all of them and much more entertainment.

You can find NZD $20, $30, $50 Google Play gift cards at JB HiFi, The Warehouse, Warehouse Stationery, and Countdown stores. They will make great birthday or Christmas gifts to let the ones you love purchase their favourite songs, movies, books, apps, games, and magazines as well as in-app goods.

You find stores to buy cards here and can redeem gift cards cards here.

Posted by Shane Treeves, Consumer Communications, Google New Zealand

Cross-posted from the Google for Work blog. Today’s guest blogger is James Stuart, Office Manager for Blue Carrot Catering, a catering company in Wellington, New Zealand.

One of the key ingredients to a successful event is that your food and drink are served on time (nothing fizzles out a cocktail party like an empty glass!). At Blue Carrot Catering, our job is to not only make mouth-watering food for all occasions, but to make sure that it gets to people where and when they need it. We’re one of the biggest corporate catering companies in Wellington, making 60 deliveries each day to everything from weddings and birthday parties (and occasionally serving canapes at the zoo). Getting all these tasty treats laid out on trestle tables and perched on cake stands around the city not takes both a team expert chefs and a team of Greg Murphys.

Until recently though, we relied on a manual, time-consuming and inefficient means of getting food delivered to the right place at the right time. We used to give each of our drivers a piece of paper at the beginning of the day with a schedule and list of drop-off locations. This became quite a hassle if anything changed along the way. If a client’s address was different to the one listed, the delivery time or order changed, or the driver got stuck in traffic, we’d have to jump on the blower and let the customer or driver know what was going on. It was inefficient, to say the least, and made it hard to give customers exact arrival times for their food.

To help us get a more accurate picture of where drivers are and make it easier to update information about deliveries on the fly, we started using Google Maps Coordinate. Maps Coordinate helps us manage our drivers and the way we schedule deliveries by plotting drivers on a map and making it easy to update jobs and see driver locations in real time.

Now, instead of having a piece of paper with a list of the day’s deliveries, drivers have everything they need on their handset — from the route for their deliveries plotted out on a map, to a list of the day’s jobs. If a delivery address changes we can update drivers automatically, and if a customer calls to see where their delivery is, we can jump online and see exactly where it is and let them know if the driver is two blocks down the road, or two kilometres away stuck in a traffic jam. Maps Coordinate also integrates with our email and calendar system, Google Apps so we can plan and manage things like menus and rosters in a more integrated way.

At Blue Carrot we pride ourselves on attention to detail and this includes being able to offer punctual and reliable deliveries. Since making the move to Maps Coordinate over a year ago we’ve not only been able to give our customers more accurate estimations of our delivery times, but we’ve been able to track the status of all our orders and benchmark our delivery times so our overall service is now better.

Posted by James Stuart, Office Manager, Blue Carrot Catering

Each election, more and more New Zealanders use the web to search for news and information about the big political issues, parties and leaders. This year, to make it easier to find political information from across the web, we’ve launched a dedicated YouTube channel which brings together video content from official party channels, all in one place.

Video will be updated daily as the campaign continues to progress. Check it out now at

We’ve also had a look at what voters around the country are searching for on Google. We compared searches for key issues, and the results revealed that:
  • Health was by far the most searched-for issue since the beginning of 2014
  • Transport and education came second and third, followed by employment
  • Dunedin had the highest search interest in health
  • Invercargill had the highest interest in the environment
  • Auckland had the highest interest in child poverty

Posted by Ross Young, New Zealand Public Policy Manager


Cross-posted from the Google for Work blog

Work is where you spend a lot of your time. So we’ve always believed that it should be meaningful—not a daily grind, done in isolation on an old desktop in a sea of cubicles. Even more, we believe that technology should make work better. It should make it easy not just to get things done, but to get things done with people who inspire you, at the times and in the places where you work best, and in a way that lets you make an impact, no matter what your job is, or what industry you’re in.

Ten years ago, we started bringing Google’s consumer technology—along with the features, controls and services businesses need—to work. We first brought search and then Gmail to businesses. Today we also offer the scale and reliability of Google’s infrastructure to developers with Google Maps and Google Cloud Platform, and have extended into hardware with Android and Chromebooks. Along the way we’ve invested in what matters to our customers and partners—security, transparency, compliance and customer support. And our team, the breadth of our offerings, and our commitment to business customers have all increased substantially.

Work today is very different from 10 years ago. Cloud computing, once a new idea, is abundantly available, and collaboration is possible across offices, cities, countries and continents. Ideas can go from prototype to development to launch in a matter of days. Working from a computer, tablet or phone is no longer just a trend—it’s a reality. And millions of companies, large and small, have turned to Google’s products to help them launch, build and transform their businesses, and help their employees work the way they live. In other words, work is already better than it used to be.

But technology for the workplace isn't just about a better way of doing business. It's about empowering anyone, whether they're a developer with an idea in their basement or a baker with a better cupcake or a company with thousands of employees, to have an impact. We never set out to create a traditional “enterprise” business—we wanted to create a new way of doing work. So the time has come for our name to catch up with our ambition. As of today, what was called Google Enterprise is now, simply, Google for Work. When we use the tools that make our lives easier—Google Apps, Maps, Search, Chrome, Android, Cloud Platform and more—work gets better. And that’s what we’re working on—the best of Google, now for work.

Posted by Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman

For most Kiwi charities, the web is becoming a vital platform for improving visibility, raising awareness, and connecting with donors and volunteers. The big challenge, though, is how to make the most of this technology when there are so many competing demands for funding and resources.

That’s why we’re so pleased to be making Google for Nonprofits available here in New Zealand, in partnership with Tech Soup NZ. As we announced last night in Auckland at an event at the Mental Health Foundation, eligible community and voluntary organisations in NZ will now have free access to online marketing and technology from Google worth more than $120,000 each a year.

What’s in the package? Eligible charities will receive:

  • Up to USD $10,000 of Google AdWords each month, so they can get their site in front of people who are searching for services like theirs.
  • Free use of Google Apps, so they can run their email and important documents in the cloud and work collaboratively on documents while dramatically reducing IT costs
  • Google Earth Outreach, a free license for the pro version of Google Earth so they can visualize their data in map version online
  • YouTube for Nonprofits, so they can make great campaigns that catch the eye of donors and supporters

We want Kiwi charities to be as connected and collaborative as possible, so they can continue to do their great work changing the world. With Google for Nonprofits, they can have the same web tools as much larger, better resourced organisations, so they can do their great work more easily.