Google’s year in search finds people ready to take action

It's been a heck of a year. And as 2017 draws to a close, a bunch of web giants are on hand to remind us of what we got up to on their services. Twitter had us raging, Facebook saw us praying for victims of tragedies, and now Google (the biggest of the three) is sharing its year in search. The top spot in the US and worldwide was reserved for Hurricane Irma. The same went for Google news trends in the US, which were dominated by natural disasters, including Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Jose, and Hurricane Maria, with the looming threat of North Korea and the tragic mass shooting in Las Vegas making the top ten as well.

Although, it's difficult to chalk 2017 up as anything other than a lousy year, we can find some solace in the well-meaning "how" queries sent Google's way. Aside from an increase in political mobilization (as evidenced in the popularity of "how to make a protest sign?"), we were asking "how to help?" more than ever. Spurred by natural disasters (like the California wildfires), people also looked for ways to help out within local communities by asking how to become firefighters, paramedics, s...