Worldwide weather events and the latest in technology caused chatter across the online world in September.
The most-searched topic in September was Hurricane Irma, a powerful category five hurricane that predominantly affected the east coast of the United States (particularly Florida), the Caribbean and other surrounding locations. As the catastrophic hurricane gained traction at the beginning of the month so too did Google searches, with those in Cairns and the Sunshine Coast the most interested in keeping up-to-date with tracking the hurricane. Related search queries included ‘Hurricane Irma live’, ‘Hurricane Irma tracking’ and ‘Hurricane Irma Florida’.
The highly anticipated new release from Apple came in the surprising form of not just the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, but a high-end, tenth anniversary edition of the iPhone: the iPhone X. Marketed as a premium iPhone model, consumers sought out the price point of the smartphone and differences between this model and the iPhone 8, both of which were announced on the same day. Top related queries included ‘iPhone X vs. iPhone 8’, ‘iPhone X price’ and ‘iPhone X release date Australia’. City dwellers in Sydney and Melbourne were the most interested in the new product.
Australians were on high alert in September as holiday destination of choice, Bali, issued a volcano alert warning of Mount Agung’s imminent eruption (which hasn’t yet occurred at the time of writing). Those in Western Australia and the Northern Territory were the most interested in volcano updates, with terms like ‘volcano eruption Bali’, ‘Bali volcano update’ and ‘Bali news’ remaining high on the related search queries list. News of the predicted impending eruption began circulating in late September. The Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management declared a 12-kilometre exclusion zone around Mount Agung on 24 September, after which Google activity also started ramping up.
Playboy’s notorious founder, Hugh Hefner, passed away on 27 September in the Playboy Mansion. Searches for Hugh Hefner subsequently peaked on 28 September in Australia with related searches from curious Googlers, such as ‘Hugh Hefner net worth’, ‘Hugh Hefner wife’ and ‘how did Hugh Hefner die’. The topic was popular Australia-wide.
The winding forward of the clocks is always a big topic on Google come September each year, particularly in affected states (New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT). Daylight savings begins on the first Sunday in October, but eager Aussies took to Google to double-check, with queries such as ‘when is daylight savings’ and ‘NSW daylight savings 2017’ being among the most popular related searches.