Google's top trending searches from the year

Google processes trillions of search requests each year, and on Wednesday the Mountain View, Calif.-based company revealed which terms dominated its search engine in 2016.

Many of the phrases, unsurprisingly, reflect national events, news topics and other phenomena that rose to prominence throughout the year. The top trending search term is “Powerball,” which is in reference to the $1.56 billion jackpot that three ticket holders won in early 2016. “Prince,” “Hurricane Matthew,” “Pokémon Go” and “” claimed the rest of the top five, while “Trump” and “Hillary Clinton” rounded out the end of the list.

Last year, the number one trending search term was “Lamar Odom,” the former NBA and reality TV star who was found unconscious in a Nevada brothel last October. “Jurassic World” and “American Sniper” also placed high on Google’s rankings from 2015.

The term “trending” means that these words and phrases held the highest spike in traffic over a sustained period of time in 2016 as compared to 2015. See below to check out the full list of search queries that made it into Google’s top 10 trending list.

1. Powerball
2. Prince
3. Hurricane Matthew
4. Pokémon Go
6. Olympics
7. David Bowie
8. Trump
9. Election
10. Hillary Clinton

Author: Lisa Eadicicco

Published in Search Engine

Fond of these images

From Pokemon Go phenomenon and iPhone 7 to Donald Trump and Deadpool, Reuters visualized the Top 10 Google searches of 2016 in order. Take a look.

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Pokemon Go

The blockbuster game, released in July and developed by Niantic, uses augmented reality and GPS mapping to make animated characters appear in the real world. Players walk around real-life neighborhoods while seeking virtual Pokemon game characters overlaid on their smartphone screens like a scavenger hunt.


top-google-image-searches-2016-3-100702228-orig 2016 - AOFIRS

iPhone 7

In September, Apple unveiled an iPhone 7 that features a high-resolution camera and the option of a jet-black glossy finish but notably lacks the traditional analog headphone jack.

top-google-image-searches-2016-4-100702229-orig 2016 - AOFIRS

Donald Trump

The Republican president-elect, who will be sworn in on Jan. 20, ran an unconventional and controversial campaign against Democrat Hillary Clinton. Trump, who was accused of racism and misogyny during the campaign, made promises such as building a wall on the southern U.S. border, cracking down on Muslims entering the country and restricting the influx of Syrian war refugees.

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The music superstar was found dead in his home in a Minneapolis suburb in April after an accidental, self-administered overdose of an opioid painkiller. The intensely private musician, whose hits included "Purple Rain" and "When Doves Cry," was found dead in an elevator at his home at the age of 57, shocking millions of fans around the world and prompting glowing tributes by fellow musicians.

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The record $1.6-billion jackpot in January was the largest lottery prize ever offered in North America, and no other lottery in the world had ever featured a jackpot of that size that could be won on a single ticket. Three winning tickets were sold in California, Florida and Tennessee.

top-google-image-searches-2016-7-100702233-orig 2016 - AOFIRS

David Bowie

David Bowie, the visionary British rock star who coupled hits such as "Space Oddity" with trend-setting pop personas like "Ziggy Stardust," died at age 69 in January of liver cancer, just two days after releasing what appears to be the parting gift of a new album.

top-google-image-searches-2016-8-100702234-orig 2016 - AOFIRS


Marvel's Rated R anti-hero movie, starring Ryan Reynolds, tells the story of former Special Forces agent turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who undergoes a rogue experiment to treat his cancer. The operation leaves him scarred but also with powers that allow him to heal quickly and Wilson, soon Deadpool, seeks revenge on the man who carried out the experiment. The film has pulled in an estimated $760 million worldwide.

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The massive multiplayer online game lets users control a snake avatar, consuming multicolored pellets as they attempt to grow the longest snake against other users playing the game in real time.

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Suicide Squad

The DC Comics anti-hero movie, released in August, follows a rogue group of anti-heroes with special powers - Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Boomerang, Killer Croc and El Diablo - who are held hostage by Gotham's government to use as weapons to protect the city. Many critics panned the film, which has a 26 percent rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes. The flurry of negative reviews led tens of thousands of people to sign an online petition calling for Rotten Tomatoes to be shut down.


Author: Michael Cooney


Published in Search Engine

Nothing may have had as bad of a year as the Internet.

The Internet has been hit with an onslaught of criticism and suffered several setbacks in 2016: from relinquishment of American control over web address management, introduced surveillance measures in the United Kingdom, social media backlash for users’ hate speech and terrorist affiliations, to censorship and fake news.

The Obama administration let a contract with an American corporation expire at the very end of September, so that a central portion of Internet governance control could be handed over to an international bureaucracy.

Now countries like China, which have vastly different perspectives on freedom of speech than America, will have a say in how Internet addresses will be managed.

In October, a large portion of websites were shutdown for the majority of the Northeast in America. Now that power has been shared with other countries, such attacks could be harder to overcome and thus could become a severe and regular problem for America’s internet infrastructure, which is absolutely critical for a number of things like the country’s electoral process, national security and commerce.

The U.K. passed a surveillance bill in November that significantly expands the government’s spying powers, namely over the Internet. The Investigatory Powers Bill is considered so expansive, it’s informally called the “snoopers’ charter.” The European Union’s top court ruled the measure was illegal because it calls for the “general and indiscriminate” retention of people’s online web traffic, but it remains to be seen if the ruling will ultimately matter.

“The U.K.’s new Investigatory Powers bill sets a chilling precedent for surveillance and online free speech in the West,” Ryan Hagemann, technology and civil liberties policy analyst at the Niskanen Center, told the The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Americans should definitely be concerned about the expansion of surveillance authorities in Europe, especially with the rising tide of ethno-nationalism and right-wing populism throughout much of the continent.”

Tech platforms like YouTube and Twitter have engaged in censorship by removing accounts such as ones associated with the alt-right — going against the companies’ usual mindset of being absolutely for free speech.

In fact, there are a number of instances of Silicon Valley burying conservative news, from Facebook’s trending list, to Google’s search engine.

These same tech companies have been sued over the past year by a number of people, including the family members of the victims of the Orlando Night Club shootingthe Paris attacks, and Palestinian bombings. The plaintiffs in these cases argue that tech companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter are complicit with terrorists because such evildoers use the platforms they offer, thus providing “material support.”

Several legal experts and lawyers told The Daily Caller News Foundation that such legal actions are unsubstantiated and misguided because of multipleexplicit laws already on the books.

“Those lawsuits are going nowhere. Service providers can’t be held liable just for providing accounts to bad speakers who would use the accounts to convey bad messages. See, e.g., Fields v. Twitter,” Eugene Volokh, professor at the UCLA School of Law, told TheDCNF.

Yet, several parties are still suing these tech companies, potentially harming the sanctity of freedom of speech on the Internet.

Along with first amendment concerns, there were heated battles between law enforcement and tech companies over encryption, which touches upon the Fourth and Fifth Amendment, amongst other principles.

The FBI demanded that Apple unlock the iPhone 5c of Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the two San Bernardino shooters. A federal court at the time agreed and ordered that Apple do so, which CEO Tim Cook said would require creating a new technological tool.

Cook called it “unprecedented” and “chilling” since “building a version of iOS that bypasses security in this way would undeniably create a back door. And while the government may argue that its use would be limited to this case, there is no way to guarantee such control.”

Cook states that if it had created such a tool, encryption, the process of encoding data so only the authorized parties can see it, would have been compromised, thus significantly harming people’s online privacy.

And there’s the fake news dilemma, where people are worried that uncorroborated stories are becoming too available for people to see on the Internet. People have called on Facebook to fix the problem since it’s a social media platform where news is disseminated.

Mark Zuckerberg named Snopes, a media outlet, as one of the entities that will help them in labeling stories as “fake news.” This will likely lead to subjective censorship of conservative viewpoints, since Snopes almost exclusively employs people who are left-leaning.

So while the bleakness for the Internet in 2016 was fairly apparent, what does 2017 have in store?

While Hagemann says its always difficult to make predictions, he thinks because of “the battles over encryption here in the U.S., the passage of the Investigatory Powers bill in the U.K., and the year-end focus on fake news, the Internet isn’t the electronic frontier it used to be.”

“The reality of politics and policy have crept into cyberspace. I think 2017 will be the year the last vestiges of cyberfrontier life finally wither away,” Hagemann explained.

So as the Internet becomes increasingly pervasive in society, so too will the questioning of its role.

“In the end, the Internet is just a reflection of the real world, warts and all. In the short run, I’m sure we’ll continue dealing with issues like fake news, terrorist recruitment through social media, and concerns over government surveillance. In the long run, however, I’m definitely optimistic for the future of humanity, in both the real world and the world of atoms,” Hagemann concluded.

Author: Eric Lieberman

Published in Internet Technology

The meme that 2016 has been the “worst year ever” has certainly had a lot of material to work with in these last days before 2017 arrives.

But while many have found Internet culture in 2016 to be irredeemable, this past year wasn’t all bad on the Internet for us as individuals. So I asked some of my colleagues to send me stories about where, personally, they found the good on the Internet this year, for one last look at some of its small bright spots, before we get on with the task of finding 2017 to be even worse.

Self-care lists

In the midst of a 2016 that bombarded us with wave after wave of hate and fear, Tumblr’s self-care master lists were my refuge. Even just seeing the tips in numbered order , helpfully suggesting different self-soothers, felt calming in its own way. “Put on comfy clothes.” “Drink some water.” “Play with a pet.” “My personal favorite: this master list of master lists . Even if you can’t change the world, a bath bomb can. Or more accurately, maybe someone nice on Tumblr can, gently reminding you to indulge in some bath bombs. “You deserve it” — sometimes I wish I could wrap those three words around me forever. — Julia Carpenter 

The country of New Zealand 

Somehow, among all the churning badness of Twitter culture, I managed to make a friend on the platform. That friend is a dairy farmer in New Zealand, whom I had to contact in February to confirm that he did, in fact, send a picture of his dog to someone to have it rated on a scale of 1-10 (it’s a long story; digital culture is a weird beat). He replied with a beautifully-told email in response to what was, essentially, a random reporter asking him for a couple of fact confirmations.

See all those likes and retweets? Those came mostly from New Zealanders, because what followed was a long-lasting absorption into “New Zealand Twitter,” which has been mostly delightful. For months, Twitter’s algorithm decided (correctly) that those tweets were ones I’d like to see again:

Making a friend on the Internet isn’t a monumental achievement, but for me, in this year where we’ve learned a lot about the real-life consequences of the worst parts of Internet culture, it helped to remind me of what I used to like so much about being online in the first place. — Abby Ohlheiser


Most days, scrolling through my Facebook news feed can feel like an assault on my peace of mind. As has been well-documented this election cycle, Facebook has become deeply partisan, emotional and vitriolic — and yet every day, I return. Yes, it’s partially because it’s my job to be on Facebook. But I’ve also discovered the most wonderful community on Facebook in the form of a public group somewhat inelegantly named “Goldendoodle’s friend and family!!” or GFAF, as I’ll call it.

GFAF is composed of nearly 6,000 goldendoodle owners and lovers who literally post pictures of their dogs cuddling with teddy bears, riding in the passenger seat of cars, or running around the house fresh from a bath. Members also exchange food recommendations, behavioral challenges and tips for combing through doodles’ matted hair.

For the uninitiated, goldendoodle owners are a bit … obsessive. But you can’t blame them. Goldendoodles, a designer dog mix of a poodle and a golden retriever, are truly the most perfect form of animal. They possess the poodle’s intelligence and the retriever’s allegiance. Their eyes are deeply emotive, and they look like giant teddy bears. Also, they’re hypoallergenic.

Doodle owners know this, and in GFAF, they’ve found their people. It’s a full-throated and elated celebration of these dogs who are just so darn cute. GFAF members live all over the country and undoubtedly hold myriad political beliefs, but in this group, they can all agree on this one thing. It’s a welcome break from the rest of the Internet — even for those of us without goldendoodles. — Alex Laughlin

Ron Lehker, the 90-year-old Redditor

Nearly every day this year, a now 91-year-old man living in Washington, D.C., has slowly climbed the stairs to his third floor attic, set his cane aside, and sat down in front of Ron Lehker’s grandson first got him hooked in January. He posted a photo of his white-haired, blue-eyed grandfather on the “Ask Me Anything” thread.  “I Am 90 Years Old — An officer during WWII, a retired educator, and more engaged with society today than I’ve ever been before. AMA!” More than a thousand questions flooded in.

Hi! If you would want everyone to know one thing, what would it be?

How much porn do you watch?

Would you say your love for your new partner is the “same” as the love you had for your wife of 43 years?

Ron carefully reads each inquiry, then leans back in his chair and thinks deeply about what his 91 years have taught him.

“OMG! I love the new social media,” he wrote to the person who asked about his love for his wife. “Such a fascinating way to connect, yet so sterile in its ability for us to get acquainted …”

It’s been nearly a year since people started asking questions, and Ron’s AMAs are buried deep in the mountain of nonsense on Reddit. But all that matters to him is that every person who reached out to him gets a response, even if no one else reads it. Ron provides wisdom on love and loss, religion and politics, living and dying.

He is the Internet in its purest and best form: connecting people who need each other, even if they’ll never meet. — Jessica Contrera

Group chats

2016 has been a pretty weird year for anyone who likes to spend time online. This year, however, I’m thankful for a corner of the Internet in which I’ve found solace: group chats.

To be clear, there is nothing new about group chats. I discovered them like I discover most popular things: late and then aggressively. There’s a good chance you’ve been in a group chat if you’ve ever used GroupMe, WeChat, Gchat, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Kik or Instagram DMs. They’re actually hard to avoid.

The particular chat that rekindled my love with the Internet happens to be a Facebook Messenger chat with some friends from college.

Some of them still live in our college town, others have moved, and it spans a couple of graduating classes. While we were all friends in college, we weren’t any sort of tightknit group at the time. The chat itself started sometime last February as a forum to discuss Kanye West’s then-new album “The Life of Pablo,” and, well, we never stopped. We still discuss music, but the conversations have meandered into television, sports, employment, unemployment, “graduate school?” and the general aspirations and fears of 20-somethings on the precipice of “real” adulthood. We roast each other. We coach each other up before job interviews. We have inside jokes. We go into the settings and change each other’s display names (in November, they were all Thanksgiving related; this month, they’re all Christmas puns). Mostly, it’s very friendly, and we’re all pretty positive and supportive with each other.

People’s online personas don’t always match with who they are in real life. I’m a reserved person IRL, and I tend to steer toward the more performative, less personal social networks like Instagram and Twitter. It’s been nice to have a closed-off platform, with people I trust, where I can relax and be the big ol’ goofus I am. There’s an element of trust in a closed group, and it’s a stark contrast from virtually every other second I spend on the Internet. — Ric Sanchez

The Teens 

Source: GiphyThe teens never asked for much.

And yet, they are benevolent bunch, giving us so much when we’ve given them so little in return. Considering what we have gifted them — melting polar ice caps that threaten our way of life and a national debt well into the trillions — you’d think the teens wouldn’t be so generous. But it is their altruism, as evidenced by their ceaseless production of the purest memes, that I am most thankful for this year.

Whether I’m scrolling through my Instagram Explore tab or checking Tumblr, I know the boundless creativity of the teens will always greet me, pulling me out of whatever spiraling sense of despair I’ve found myself in. Be it their PSAT memes , their enthusiastic support of their peers , their ability to create a cultural phenomenon out of a frog on a unicycle that once appeared in a physics textbook or their array of viral challenges , the teens are creating some of the most wholesome content on the Internet.

I — we — need the teens now more than ever. In a country plagued by increasing divisiveness and less-than-wholesome political discourse, I fear that the only people capable of bringing us together are the teens and their memes. — Tanya Sichynsky

Author: Abby Ohlheiser

Published in Internet Technology

It has already been a record-setting year for hacking scandals, and the headlines show no signs of slowing as we reach the end of 2016. Today's hack of Netflix's Twitter account by hacking collective OurMine is only the latest development in a year that has seen digital security become an issue of national security and election year politics.

OurMine, which is "a self-described white hat security group," said it was just testing Netflix security. The group suggested Netflix contact it to find out more about the hack. OurMine tweeted its message this morning, along with an email address and logo, to the nearly 2.5 million Twitter followers of @netflix, which is Netflix's U.S. account. "At least two more hacked tweets were sent. All of them have since been deleted, presumably by the Netflix social media team," according to CNET.

In previous years, most network intrusions have targeted enterprises and large corporations. But this year we saw a much more diverse field of victims, ranging from celebrities, technology CEOs, political parties, and even the Olympics.

More Political Hacks

Perhaps one of the most disturbing trends in 2016 has been the increased use of hacking to achieve geopolitical goals. Hacking groups linked to either the Kremlin or Russian president Vladimir Putin have been accused of reverting to Cold War tactics to weaken and delegitimize countries seen as political rivals.

A hack of the World Anti-Doping Agency's database, resulting in the publication of private medical records for several U.S. athletes, was attributed to a group of Russian hackers going by the names "Team Tsar" and "Fancy Bear." The group was also accused of hacking the Democratic Party’s network to find embarrassing information about then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

The attack against the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign appear to have been part of an orchestrated effort by Russia to use cyberwarfare to undermine the U.S. electoral process. While it's impossible to say what, if any, effect the hack had on the election of Donald Trump, the hack has escalated tensions between the two countries and caused no small amount of alarm within the U.S. intelligence community.

And it isn't just national security that was in the spotlight in 2016. The year also saw a big jump in ransomware attacks, with individuals being targeted by hackers who encrypt their data in to extort cash out of them. Perhaps the largest such attack this year featured the San Francisco transit system, which was targeted by a ransomware attack that resulted in travelers receiving free rides over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Individuals in the Crosshairs

Several high-profile individuals in the technology sector have also been targets of attacks this year, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai. And Twitter's former CEO Dick Costolo and current CEO Jack Dorsey also suffered from hacks.

Most of these attacks seem to have come from well-known hacking collectives such as OurMine. But an independent hacker going by the handle "Lid" was able to hijack the Twitter account of Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe.

Hacks weren't just about digital defacement and a chance to embarrass political opponents, though. This year also saw the second largest bitcoin hack in history, resulting in the theft of more than $65 million of the cryptocurrency.

But it wasn't just digital currency that was stolen this year. A gang of Russian hackers also managed to break into more than 330,000 point-of-sale machines running software by Micros, an Oracle company. The hack hit cash registers used in food chains, hotels and retail stores.

And speaking of hotels, the U.S. hospitality industry suffered one of its largest hacks ever when 20 hotels owned by HEI Hotels and Resorts discovered malware running on point-of-sale machines used throughout the country. That hack may have resulted in the theft of customer data including account and credit card numbers.

This year there was even information about past traditional hacks involving the theft of users' email addresses and login information. Yahoo reported that in 2013, it suffered the largest breach in history, involving more than 1 billion user accounts. That exceeds the hack of 500 million accounts in 2014 that the company also reported this year.

Author: Jef Cozza

Published in Internet Privacy


IT WAS a good year for imaginative military innovations. From Star Wars-style speeders to an inescapable surveillance drone, many of the futuristic advances seem straight out of science fiction or Hollywood blockbusters.

Here are some favourites from 2016.


Remember those speeder bikes in Return of the Jedi that raced through the air? The US military may get to zoom around the battlespace on a real-life version in the not-so-distant future.

Malloy Aeronautics and SURVICE Engineering Company teamed up to further develop Malloy’s Hoverbike for the US Army Research Laboratory. The craft is called the Joint Tactical Aerial Resupply Vehicle, or JTARV.

Capable of potentially reaching speeds of 180km/h, JTARV could carry teams rapidly and nimbly — it could even fly around a war zone delivering about 135 kilograms of supplies by itself.

JTARV also provides stealth advantages, including a small physical footprint since it flies through the air, rather than drives on the ground. It also has a reduced acoustic signature.

These real life speeders wouldn’t require runways or traditional landing zones, giving teams lots of flexibility.

Return of the Jedi anyone?


Meet the 32-tonne armoured combat vehicle that’s the ultimate tractor — albeit one that can punch holes through concrete, fire rockets, and carve safe passage through minefields for soldiers.

BAE Systems’ Terrier is affectionately known as the Swiss Army knife of combat vehicles because there isn’t anything it can’t tackle. A multi-tool on a giant scale, the Terrier is a number of critical vehicles all in one. It can quickly adapt to tackle a range of important tasks. It even has an eight-metre arm.

Terrier can destroy enemy runways, rip holes in concrete compounds where terrorists hide, and dismantle bridges.

This mammoth machine beast can even unleash Python rocket-propelled explosives to destroy concealed improvised explosive devices, protecting dismounted troops.

Like tractors found all throughout the United States, Terrier can lift, grab and move things. But it is next-level — its front loader system can lift five tonnes. It can move a staggering 300 tonnes of earth per hour.

The Swiss knife of army tanks.


It looks like a Star Trek Bird of Prey, and acts like a drone that terrorists cannot escape: A new military aircraft that’s powered by the sun and can conduct missions without landing for 45 days.

Airbus Defence and Space calls the new drone the High Altitude Pseudo Satellite (HAPS), but it’s been dubbed the Zephyr.

What’s a “pseudo satellite”? It has satellite-type capabilities like extreme surveillance but is on demand with the flexibility and versatility of an unmanned aircraft. This sort of capability could prove particularly handy for special operations teams.

Unlike a satellite, the Zephyr can be landed, modified with alternative tech, and quickly re-launched to provide different capabilities as required.

The Zephyr could fly without landing to provide the military with non-stop high-resolution imagery for a remarkable month and a half, and it could give teams accuracy down to 6-inch resolution.

Flying at about 20km high at a fixed location, Zephyr can see over 400 kilometres to the horizon and provide imagery in excess of 621 square kilometres.

While the Zephyr won’t be flying in space, it can get awfully close. The drone can reach heights higher than 70,000 feet. At those heights you can see the curvature of the earth.

The High Altitude Pseudo Satellite.


New technology means US military helicopter pilots will be getting amped-up “Superman-style” vision to help them tackle dangerous environments.

Degraded Visual Environment, or DVE, is a frequent threat to military aircraft masking hazards and making it tough to land and fly. Visibility can be degraded by bad weather like rain, snow, dust and fog — but also by things like brown-out.

In a brown-out for example, the pilot loses his or her visual reference with the ground when sand, dirt and dust get kicked up. The airframe can drift and collide with the ground or other structures causing the helicopter to land hard or even roll over.

DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, chose Honeywell to create tech to help pilots defeat extreme DVE and “see” crucial details. The tech is called synthetic vision and provides pilots with a 3-D view of the landing zone on their flight displays. In spite of tough conditions, it builds a picture using a number of state-of-the-art sensors.

Dangers like other aircraft, telephone wires, vehicles and personnel near the landing zone — as well as unexpected terrain — would no longer be hidden by brown-outs.

Ultimately, military pilots could have such enhanced vision that even small holes and ditches around the landing zone will be revealed.

DVEs are a big challenge for all militaries, but with this tech US pilots would have the advantage of being able to safely operate where others cannot.

New technology means US military helicopter pilots will have far superior eyesight.


A nearly 34-tonne armoured fighting vehicle... that swims? Marines will have a new Amphibious Combat Vehicle with even more power to storm the beaches in future battles.

The Amphibious Combat Vehicle prototype, or the ACV 1.1, was created by BAE Systems and IVECO Defence, and unveiled at Modern Day Marine. The vehicle combines a high degree of protection with amphibious and land capabilities.

This new armoured assault vehicle can launch from a ship at sea and then travel by water at speeds of six knots, ready to launch attacks on the shore.

Surf? Not a problem for this vehicle. The ACV 1.1 can continue to charge forward in spite of nine-foot plunging surf.

Once it reaches ground, it can attack enemy forces at 112km per hour and unleash some serious firepower.

Author: Allison Barrie


Published in Others

Facebook & Google dominate the list of top best applications of 2016. Know the full list here!

Facebook And Google Dominate The List

Facebook (FB) might not be as cool as Snapchat in terms of its geo filters or YouTube in terms of watching tons of videos. However, it still on top as the most popular app in the US, according to a Nielsen report for 2016 published Wednesday.

"From new digital devices coming to the market (and grabbing headlines) to the growing interest in virtual reality thanks to new apps, 2016 was a big year for digital. As the year comes to a close, Nielsen looked at some of the top trends in digital, including the top U.S. smartphone apps and operating systems."

According to Tech Crunch, mobile applications from Facebook and Google dominated the new list of the year’s top apps released today by Nielsen. Not surprisingly, Facebook again grabbed the number one spot on the list, with more than 146 million average unique users per month, and 14 percent growth over last year.

In fact, Facebook scored several spots on the top 10 chart, thanks to its affiliates such as the Facebook Messenger and Instagram. The FB Messenger came in the second place this year. The app proves that it can have over 129 million unique monthly users. The third spot is YouTube, with over 113 monthly unique viewers.

The apps with the highest year over year change, Nielsen said, were Amazon App, which grew 43 percent and Instagram, up by 36 percent over 2015, as reported by Tech Wire. The survey conducted is a majority of smartphone owners use Android devices (53 percent), while 45 percent use IoS phones. A mere 2 percent use Windows phone, and the once mighty Blackberry now claims only 1 percent of users.

Top Mobile Apps Of 2016

Facebook took first and Facebook Messenger took second place in Nielsen's ranking. Instagram, which Facebook bought for $1 billion in 2012, was 2016's eighth most popular app, with 74 million average monthly users. The photo-sharing app's user number grew by more than one-third from 2015.

The search engine titan, Google, claimed five spots on the Top 10 list, with a combined 508 million users across its popular apps. There five apps are YouTube, Google Maps, Google Search, Google Play and Gmail.

YouTube, the mega-popular streaming site it owns, was Google's largest contribution, with 113 million people using the app. Google Maps followed with 105 million users. Google Search, the Play Store and Gmail had 103 million, 99 million and 88 million users, respectively.


"Nielsen’s Electronic Mobile Measurement is installed with permission on panelist smartphones (approximately 9,000 panelists ages 18+ with Android and iOS handsets). The panelists are recruited online in English and include Hispanic, African-American, Asian-American, Native American and Alaskan Native and other mixed racial background consumer representation.

This method provides a holistic view of all activity on a smartphone as the behavior is being tracked without interruption. Data is based on Nielsen’s monthly survey of 30,000-plus mobile subscribers aged 13 and up in the U.S. Mobile owners are asked to identify their primary mobile handset by manufacturer and model, which are weighted to be demographically representative of mobile subscribers in the U.S. Smartphone penetration reflects all models with a high-level operating system (including Apple iOS, Android, Windows and BlackBerry)."

Author: Monica U Santos

Published in Others

The year 2016 has come to an end. Looking back, here’s a roundup of the Top 16 trending online tools of 2016 that were most appreciated and used by the brilliant people of the LabWorm community.

So without further ado, let’s see what the LabWormers picked as the top sites of 2016.


3135 2016 - AOFIRSDiscover & share science protocol knowledge. An open access platform for sharing and discovering up-to-date life science methods.

[More details | Visit site]

2. Publons
3460 2016 - AOFIRSKeep a record of every peer review you do for the world’s journals. Publons provides statistics about how peer review behaviour compares across individuals, disciplines, institutions and countries.

[More details | Visit site]

3. matters
3006 2016 - AOFIRSSingle observation publishing.  At Matters, you do not have to wait to assemble all the data to tell a story.

[More details | Visit site]

4. Figshare
2503 2016 - AOFIRSRepository where users can make all of their research outputs available in a citable, shareable and discoverable manner.

[More details | Visit site]

5. Wellcome Open Research
3475 2016 - AOFIRSImmediate & Transparent Publishing. A journal that allows researchers to rapidly publish any results they think are worth sharing.

[More details | Visit site]

6. Science disrupt
3318 2016 - AOFIRSCreating a change in science. A group that records podcasts, writes editorials and runs events aimed at improving science.

[More details | Visit site]

7. sciNote
3301 2016 - AOFIRSOpen source electronic lab notebook, which helps you organize your scientific data and safely store it in one place.

[More details | Visit site]

3302 2016 - AOFIRSAccelerate interpretation of your NGS data. A knowledgebase connecting targeted therapies to genomic variants.

[More details | Visit site]

9. MedStartr
3367 2016 - AOFIRSCrowdfunding platform for biomedical & healthcare research.

[More details | Visit site]

10. Repositive
3281 2016 - AOFIRSDiscover a better way of searching for genomic data. Enabling easy search and access to genomic data.

[More details | Visit site]

11. Workspace
3520 2016 - AOFIRSMore than just a reference manager. Manage your research online and conveniently access it from any computer.

[More details | Visit site]

3386 2016 - AOFIRSThe co-working hub for researchers. Collaborative reading of articles & books while engaging in discussions direclty over the content.

[More details | Visit site]

13. Biovista Vizit
3517 2016 - AOFIRSVisual bibliographic search tool. Search tool based on PubMed that helps biomedical scientists with their research, discovery work and collaboration.

[More details | Visit site]

3266 2016 - AOFIRSDigital life sciences marketplace & comparison engine to find and buy the right biotech kits.

[More details | Visit site]

15. Bioz
3313 2016 - AOFIRSSearch engine to get insights from scientific papers about methods, tools, and reagents.

[More details | Visit site]

16. SCI.AI
3519 2016 - AOFIRSWrite semantic science. User friendly structuring of biomedical texts so that articles can be machine-readable and published in media format.

[More details | Visit site]

We would like to thank all of you for being part of the LabWorm community and making these great choices. We are already anxious to see what you LabWormers will be up to in this coming year. Have a fantastic 2017 and may the Worm be with you all!

Source :

Published in Online Research

Apple's list of the 10 most downloaded free apps of 2016 is a great place to start if you just got a new iPhone or iPad, and want to make sure you've got the apps all your friends probably already have.

One note — Apple published its list in early December, so the smash hit Super Mario Run wasn't included in Apple's list.

Facebook and Google dominate Apple's own list of the most downloaded apps of 2016. If not for Snapchat and Pokémon Go, Facebook would have the three most downloaded iPhone apps. 





Free. Download from iTunes here. 

Facebook Messenge

Facebook MessengeriTunes

Free. Download from iTunes here

Pokémon GO


Pokémon GOiTunes

Free with in-app purchases. Download from iTunes here



Free. Download from iTunes here




Free. Download from iTunes here



Free. Download from iTunes here

Google Maps


Google MapsiTunes

Free. Download from iTunes here



Free with in-app purchases. Download from iTunes here. 



Free, but requires a subscription. Download from iTunes here

Spotify Music

Spotify MusiciTunes

Free, with in-app purchases. Download from iTunes here

Author : Kif Leswing

Source :

Published in Internet Technology

Searchmetrics has released their annual study of Google’s top search ranking factors. The “comparative benchmark” for SEOs illustrates how ranking factors are becoming more personalized, content relevance is paramount, technical factors are still as important as ever, and backlinks are seeing a downward trend in importance.

I will recap some of the top sections of the report in this post, but the exceptionally detailed 63-page report deserves to be read in full if you have the time to do so.

Content Factors

Searchmetrics has introduced a new ranking factor to this year’s report called content relevance, which measures how relevant a piece of content is to a search query. It is measured on a scale from 0–100, and data suggests a higher relevance score can equate to higher rankings.

Word count is still an important ranking factor, with content in the top positions exceeding 1000 words on average. The level of detail matters as much as the length of the content. Pages that show up in higher positions are detailed enough to rank comparably well for multiple similar keywords.

With that being said, the deliberate use of keywords is said to be of secondary importance, with only 53% of the top 20 queries having keywords in the title tag.

“This clearly demonstrates that Google evaluates content according to its relevance – and not by the inclusion of individual keywords.”

User Signals

User signals such as Click-Through Rate, Time on Site, and Bounce Rate are considered to be among the top ranking factors. These factors are so important because they’re all signals to Google as to how satisfied a user is with the content they just landed on.

  • The pages occupying positions 1–3 have an average CTR of 36%.
  • The average Bounce Rate for URLs on the first page of search results is 46%.
  • The Time on Site for the top 10 URLs is 3 minutes and 10 seconds

Technical Factors

The number of pages in the top 20 positions with an H1 or H2 is up compared to last year. The use of H2 tags has seen a particularly notable rise in the top landing pages this year. Since not all URLs make use of H2s, Searchmetrics recommends using them for a competitive advantage.

Here are some other highlights regarding technical ranking factors:

  • Over 45% of pages in the top 20 results were encrypted using HTTPS, up from 12% last year.
  • 86% of pages in the top 10 now use the .com TLD.
  • Pages ranking well on mobile are a third smaller than pages in the same positions on desktop.
  • Pages in the top 10 positions have a loading time of 7–8 seconds, on average.
  • Top ranking pages typically have longer URLs, around 53 characters on average.
  • All 100 of the top 100 domains have are mobile-friendly.

User Experience Factors

Internal links are said to be one of the most important user experience ranking factors, though they are being largely underutilized. Searchmetrics says the use of internal links has fallen dramatically this year compared to last year. Internal links help direct both users and search engines to other relevant pages throughout a website, which is why they’re so important. External links, number of images, and video integration are all factors that add to the user experience which are also important ranking factors.

Social Signals

According to Searchmetrics, there is an extremely high correlation between social signals and ranking position. Facebook is still the network with the highest weighted social signals. Signals from Google+ are apparently most prevalent in when it comes to the first and second positions, but fall off significantly after that. The same can be said for signals from Twitter and Pinterest as well.

”The top-ranked website in Google’s rankings displays vastly more social signals than all other pages, even more so than in 2015”

Backlink Signals

The days of backlinks being the main driving force behind search engine rankings are on their way out, Searchmetrics says. Backlinks are now just a contributing signal, taking a back seat to signals such as content relevance and user intention. In fact, for certain niche topics its possible to obtain a high ranking without even having a lot of high quality backlinks.


After having one of the industry’s most respected reports since 2012, Searchmetrics says the annual ranking reports study is no longer applicable as it once was. This marks the last the last time Searchmetrics will publish a study on general ranking factors. Expect to see more detailed industry studies from them beginning spring 2017.

Author:  Matt Southern


Published in Search Engine
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