Google Trends: Navalny vs. Putin and Chicago’s Most Searched Sports Team

Amy Hernandez
3 min readJan 24, 2021

Nalvany Surpasses Putin in Google Searches and Chicago Remains Loyal to Their Least Victorious Team

Russian Protesters Call for the Release of Opposition Leader, Alexei Navalny

Massive protests broke out across Russia on Saturday in support of the politician and opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Tens of thousands of protesters are demanding the release of Navalny, who was detained last Saturday.

On January 17, a judge ruled to remand Navalny in custody for 30 days. After his hearing, Navalny posted a video on social media telling his protesters, “Don’t be afraid. Take to the streets. Don’t do it for me, do it for yourselves and your future.” Currently, Navalny is the most prominent politician in Russia opposing president Vladimir Putin with millions of Russian followers on various social media sites.

News of the protests began trending on Twitter as the events took place. According to an analysis of Google Trends search data, Navalny has surpassed Putin in searches worldwide within the past day. Navalny inclusively reached peak popularity on Google searches at 3:52 pm CST.

The countries that most searched for Navalny include France, Russia, The United States, Iran, and Japan. Navalny’s rise in search queries does not come as a surprise since he has a regular online presence on various social media sites and thanked his followers by stating, “Respect to the schoolchildren who, according to my lawyer, ‘wreaked havoc on TikTok.’”

The rise in Navalny’s popularity surely makes people around the world wonder if Russia is on the brink of political change. Putin has served as president from 1999–2008 and 2012-present. For many young Russians, Putin is the only leader they’ve known and are ready for a change in leadership.

Chicago’s Most Searched Sports Team Is Also the Least Successful

Chicago sports teams have a long history. Briefly explained, the Bulls and Blackhawks each have six championship titles, the Cubs and White Sox each have three World Series titles, and the Bears have one Super Bowl win. Among players, Chicago also had one of the best athletes of all time, Michael Jordan. As such, one would assume that the Bulls are the most popular team in Chicago.

However, within the past seven days, the Bears remained the most searched team in Chicago based on an analysis of Google Trends search data. As for the other teams compared, the Bulls came in second, the Blackhawks in third, the Cubs in fourth, and the White Sox last.

The Bears’ consistent favoritism among Chicagoans remains a bit puzzling since the team hasn’t performed particularly well in recent years. In the past decade, the Bears have only three playoff appearances and haven’t won a postseason matchup since January 16, 2011.

These results also come as a surprise since the NBA season began on December 22, and the NHL season began on January 13. Meanwhile, the Bears’ season ended on January 10th after another disappointing playoff run.

Despite each team’s track record, Chicagoans remain loyal to “Da Bears.” It’s been debated before, but everything points to the Bears as being the city’s favorite. As a football-obsessed city, Chicago can only hope the organization will build another Super Bowl-winning team soon.



Amy Hernandez

UIC undergrad majoring in English with a minor in communication