Google unveils a search trend time capsule tool to make you feel old

Just by answering a quick six questions, you can find out which year your favorites belong to.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
Google Trends Time Capsule site
Screenshot by Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

For a quarter of a century, people have been turning to Google Search to learn more about the topics that interest them, and, as a result, each year's top search trends provide an insight into what was happening in the world at the time. Now, you can dive into the trends and even learn more about what year your interests best belong to with Google's Trends Time Capsule

On Monday, Google unveiled its Google Trends Time Capsule, which allows users to explore the top five "most searched" in a specific category, such as movies, athletes, and dog breeds, from 1999 to 2023 in a fun and interactive way. 

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All you have to do is visit the Google Trends Time Capsule site and scroll to the category you want to dive into, expand the tab, where you can easily scroll through the top five picks throughout the years, and even learn a few fun facts. 

For example, like me, you might be surprised to learn that The Simpsons is not only the longest-running series but also consistently been one of the most-searched TV series over the past 25 years. 

As soon as you visit the Google Trends Time Capsule site, you will be invited to take a quick six-question quiz that will ask you about your favorite picks across various categories such as children's TV shows, movies, reality TV shows, and more, to tell you what year time capsule all of your favorites belong to. 

As a GenZer, unsurprisingly, my favorites all belonged to the 2009 time capsule, the peak of my childhood when, dare I say, movies, TV shows, and pop culture were just better. 

Google Trends Time Capsule quiz results
Screenshot by Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

Google also launched other fun experiences as a reflection of its 25-year celebration, including the Most Searched Playground, an interactive game in which users have to find the 25 most searched people, places, and moments from the past 25 years on a clustered map -- think of a Google Trends version of where's Waldo. 

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Google Play Ground
Screenshot by Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

If you want to learn more about the trends, you can also watch Google's Year in Search film or deep dive into Google's 2023 Trends Global and Local Lists, which feature the top trending searches across 210 US regions. 

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