After compiling a list of our Top 10 most viewed posts of 2019, we wondered – was there something big going on outside our artsy bubble that we missed? What were the people of Central Illinois actually preoccupied with last year?
For the answer to those questions, we turned to all-seeing, all-knowing Google — specifically, their Year in Search 2019 report. After taking a deep dive, we put together lists of the top 5 trending terms for each of our major cities. As clickbait sites like to say, “the results may surprise you;” they sure did surprise us.
- ancho and agave
- iron coyote bloomington il
- ancho and agave bloomington il
- seoul mama bloomington il
- luke combs bloomington il
The fate of the historic State Farm Building (which is still uncertain) made plenty of headlines in 2019. But what Bloomington was really buzzing about were two new restaurants, Ancho and Agave (Mexican) and Seoul Mama (Korean); Iron Coyote Challenge Park, a training ground for would-be American Gladiators; and a September show by country singer-songwriter Luke Combs.
- crunch fitness champaign
- hanks table champaign
- naya champaign
- chick fil a champaign
- kams champaign
The Chief? The Fighting Illini? Nope, the only Illini-related thing that made the list was the temporary closing of Kam’s, the Campustown bar that bills itself as the “Home of the Drinking Illini.” Champaign was mostly interested in food — comfort food (Hank’s Table), Italian food (Naya),
junk fast food (Chick Fil-A). So it’s probably a good thing that the opening of Crunch Fitness was the top trending search term — Champaign people gotta make up for all these indulgences somehow.
- decatur celebration 2019 schedule
- farm progress show 2019 decatur
- decatur celebration 2019
- uhaul decatur il
- herald & review decatur il
This one kinda lines up with what you’d expect — the top trending searches in Decatur were related to the city’s two major events, Decatur Celebration and the bi-annual Farm Progress Show. The fact that U-Haul was among the top search terms is probably not good, though. As for the Herald & Review, we’re happy to see someone still cares about their local newspaper.
- the spot normal il
- osf urgo normal il
- jewel osco normal
- nothing bundt cakes
- rockford obituaries (?)
We’re back to the food theme here, although Normal seems to be particularly keen on sweets (The Spot cafe and Nothing Bundt Cakes). The popularity of the OSF Urgo urgent care center is concerning, while the presence of Jewel Osco on this list is a bit mystifying — but not as much as the presence of obituary searches in Rockford (which is in Northern Illinois, in case you don’t know), which suggests the mighty Google may have fumbled here.
- first ascent peoria
- binnys peoria il
- the home depot peoria il
- illinois cancer care peoria il
- culvers peoria il
As in Champaign, fitness is king, with the First Ascent Peoria climbing studio topping the list. The volume of searches for cancer care suggests Peoria’s efforts to brand itself as a destination for state-of-the-art medical care seem to be working. Alas, the other trending search terms are chain businesses you can find almost anywhere else.
- joe crain springfield illinois
- curate springfield il
- springfield leaks
- springfield mile 2019
- baymont by wyndham springfield
Here we have some interesting results. Meteorologist Joe Crain, who made national headlines after being fired from WICS for labeling the ABC affiliate’s so-called “Code Red” weather alert system as a sensationalist branding initiative during a live broadcast, tops the list. He’s followed by Curate, a new wine bar and bistro that we’re very eager to check out, and something called Springfield Leaks — a blog that publishes posts without bylines and seems very focused on crime and alleged transgressions by public officials. A motorcycle race at the State Fairgrounds (Springfield Mile) and, for some reason, a hotel round up the list.
- urbana high school fight
- urbana high school basketball
- birkeys urbana il
- advance auto parts urbana
- urbana school district jobs
A high school fight that ended in eight arrests — this was the main thing that led Urbanians to turn to Google last year. Also a farm store (Birkey’s), an auto parts store, the high school basketball team, and looking for jobs in the school district. Urbana is our home base, and right now we’re now feeling prety out of touch with our community.