The Bristol Search Index 2023: The Most Popular Search Terms In The City

08 December 2023

Posted in: Digital Marketing News SEO

We analysed search data to reveal the topics on every Bristolian’s mind this year — from their favourite restaurants to the slang they found most perplexing. 

With 2023 soon to disappear in the rearview mirror, it’s an ideal time to take stock of the year. At Seeker, we like to use the festive season as an opportunity to celebrate the goals we achieved, learn from the challenges we faced, and — perhaps most importantly — pore over the mountains of data amassed over the last 300-plus days.

Search is an integral part of practically everyone’s day-to-day lives. Whether we’re using it to check the broadcast times for the latest must-see dramas, or to find the best vegan takeaways — something Bristol certainly isn’t short of — Google has become an indispensable tool. And while it’s a nearly incomprehensible number, it will likely come as little surprise to learn that the search engine processes 8.5 billion searches a day (around 99,000 per second). 

We thought it only right to end the year with a bang, and so we’ve combined our two greatest loves — the city we call home, and the science of search. 

Below, you’ll discover a deep dive into Bristol’s collective consciousness. We’ve run the numbers, and these are the search terms Bristol couldn’t get enough of in 2023…

Key findings from the Bristol Search Index 2023

  • We love our soaps: Despite near-overwhelming competition from the likes of Netflix, Disney+ and Apple TV, we discovered that the most popular programmes in the ‘TV & Film’ category were Strictly Come Dancing, Eastenders, and Hollyoaks!
  • We’re music lovers and counter-culture renegades: Given our proximity to Worthy Farm, it’s unsurprising that ‘Glastonbury 2023’ managed to top Bristol’s search engine charts — did you manage to snag a ticket? Other popular music events among Bristolians included Taylor Swift, Depeche Mode, and Beyonce’s tours. ‘Just stop oil’ placed highly too, reflecting Bristol’s strong heritage for protest and left-leaning politics.
  • We’re AI-curious: OpenAI’s revolutionary tool, ChatGPT, made the top 10 in our ‘memorable moments’ category, too — something we’re proud to see, given that our agency is a pioneer in the field of AI SEO! And if you’d like a deeper dive into the topic, check out our recent study on the UK cities most interested in AI. 
  • Ordering a takeaway? We’ll have a Chinese!: The Chinese takeaway has proven itself as the most searched-for cuisine in Bristol, and who could blame us — the city is jam-packed with a huge selection of authentic Chinese restaurants, some of which (such as the marvellous Cheung’s)  even cater exclusively to Bristol’s ever-growing vegan population.
  • Amsterdam is our home away from home: It’s arguably one of the most Bristol-adjacent destinations you could visit, which may explain why Amsterdam is our most searched-for holiday destination. 
  • We’re often London-bound: Owing to Bristol’s influx of new residents from The Big Smoke, it’s unsurprising that trains to London’ topped our ‘UK Travel’ search category, even beating neighbouring cities Cardiff and Bath, 
  • We’re rugby-mad!: ‘Six Nations 2023’ was the #1 search term in the ‘Sports Events’ category, followed closely by ‘Super Bowl 2023’. Curiously, The Robins didn’t get a look in when it came to the big game, with Liverpool FC finishing top seeding our ‘Sports Teams’ category. 

The Bristol Search Index 2023 Results

Below, you’ll find all the terms the city’s residents were searching for in 2023. We’ve separated these results into categories, which are as follows:

  • TV & Film
  • Memorable Moments
  • Bristol Local Eateries
  • Slang
  • Sport Teams
  • Bristol Days Out
  • Takeaway Cuisines
  • Travel Abroad
  • UK Travel
  • Sport Events

So, without further ado, let’s dive straight into the data!

TV & Film

A table showing the top ten TV and Film-related keywords searched by Bristol internet users in 2023, where the top position is Strictly Come Dancing. The image also shows a series of TV and Film related graphics and is sat on a red background.

Shunning the worldwide takeover from streaming services, it seems as though Bristol residents are much more at home with live TV. UK staples Strictly Come Dancing, Eastenders, and Hollyoaks all bagged podium positions, with Disney+ smash-hit Only Murders In The Building claiming its place as the city’s most popular streaming-only series. Over on the silver screen, the plastic-fantastic Barbie beat out her unlikely rival; atomic bomb creator, Oppenheimer, settling the Bristolian Barbenheimer debate once and for all. We must admit, we’re surprised to see Bake Off place so low, though…

Memorable Moments

A table showing the top keywords related to memorable moments of the year searched by Bristol internet users in 2023, where the top position is Glastonbury 2023. The image also shows a series of graphics related to the entries and has a green background.

As a city famed for its love of – and contribution to – the arts, it’s unsurprising that Michael Eavis’ world-famous festival topped the charts here! Elon Musk also managed to hook us in with his Twitter/X escapades, and our penchant for civil disobedience and protest continued, with the city answering the worldwide call to Just Stop Oil. On the flip side, the ‘King’s coronation’ placed in position five, suggesting the sheer spectacle of the event clearly couldn’t be resisted!

Bristol Local Eateries

A table showing the top keywords related to local eateries searched by Bristol internet users in 2023, where the top position is Pizzarova. The image shows a series of food-related graphics on a yellow background.

Proving that strong branding and delicious ‘za make for a formidable combination, Pizzarova is crowned as Bristol’s most searched-for restaurant. Flour & Ash (another popular pizzeria) came in a close second, followed by the down-to-earth lunchtime favourites, Parson’s Bakers (who, would you believe it, have also started a pizza delivery service!). Bristolians seem to find the artisanal offerings of Bristol Loaf and the sugary-sweet treats of Mrs Pott’s Chocolate House too good to resist, and Seeker favourite The Crafty Egg managed to snag a spot in the top 10, too! With plenty of new and exciting restaurants opening in Bristol on a near-monthly basis, it’ll be interesting to see how the rankings change in 2024!


A table showing the top keywords related to new slang words searched by Bristol internet users in 2023, where the top position is ‘what does slay mean?’. The image shows a series of language-related graphics and is sat on a purple background.

It might well surprise you that while Bristol is seen as a city on the edge of culture, there’s certainly a large amount of confusion regarding modern-day slang. ‘Rizz’ — one of the most recent additions to the UK’s slang dictionary — comes from the US, and is a shortened form of ‘charismatic’. It placed joint fourth on the list with ‘clapped’, a multi-faceted term which can mean anything from ‘ugly’ to ‘dumb’. London-born phrases ‘peak’ and ‘leng’ also made their way into spots 2 and 3 respectively — perhaps this is another reflection of Bristol’s influx of residents moving from the capital! The most confusing slang to Bristolians? ‘Slay’. 

Sport Teams

A table showing the top keywords related to sports teams searched by Bristol internet users in 2023, where the top position is Liverpool FC. The image includes a series of sports-related graphics and has a blue background.

Well, we weren’t expecting this. In a rather shocking result, The Robins — AKA Bristol City FC — didn’t make it into the top 10! The top spot belongs to Liverpool FC, with Real Madrid and Chelsea hot on their (studded) heels. England’s national cricket and rugby squads managed to make the cut too, but most hearteningly, ‘England women’s national football team’ proved to be a popular search term among Bristolians. A well-earned slice of recognition! 

Bristol Days Out

A table showing the top keywords related to things to do and days out, searched by Bristol internet users in 2023, where the top position is Bristol Aquarium. The image also shows a series of museum and activity-related graphics and is on a yellow background.

From its mesmerising seahorses to the otherworldly — and decidedly spooky — moray eels, Bristol aquarium proves it’s still one of the best ways to spend an afternoon in Bristol. Bristol’s Old Vic is still the gold standard when it comes to witnessing some of the city’s very best tread the boards, and Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s world-famous suspension bridge takes third place. Proving the city’s status as a premier party destination, local festivals Love Saves The Day and Tokyo World also made the cut. This, despite the latter facing cancellation this year — here’s hoping 2024 spells success for this summer staple!

Takeaway Cuisines

A table showing the top keywords related to takeaway cuisines searched by Bristol internet users in 2023, where the top position is Chinese takeaway. The image also shows a series of food-related graphics and is sat on a deep purple background.

While we’ve already established that Bristolians adore a slice of pizza in a restaurant setting, what about their tastes for takeout? Well, our research reveals that the city would prefer a Chinese over anything else — including the Great British favourite, fish and chips! The aromatic allure of the Indian takeaway placed third, followed by pizza, and Thai. Of course, as anyone who’s from Bristol will attest, our city has something for all tastes — from American-style vegan fast food diners to Asian fusion eateries, and thanks to apps like Deliveroo and UberEats, practically all of them offer delivery. What a time to be alive. 

Travel Abroad

A table showing the top keywords related to travel destinations searched by Bristol internet users in 2023, where the top position is ‘flights to Amsterdam’. The image also shows a series of travel-related graphics and is sat on a green background.

Considering our rich history, stunning architecture, and, of course, our artists, it’s no surprise that Bristol remains a hotspot for staycationers and camera-toting tourists alike. But even life in a city like ours can sometimes become monotonous, and when Bristolians fancy a change of scenery, they head to Amsterdam. In many ways, it’s a city perfectly aligned with Bristol’s values, placing artistic freedom, liberal politics, and — of course— the right to party, above all else. NYC shares the top spot, followed by Paris, and The Land Down Under; Australia. And for those Bristolians less inclined to spend 18 hours in economy class, ‘flights to Dublin’ and ‘flights to Edinburgh’ made the top 10, too. 

UK Travel

A table showing the top keywords related to UK travel teams searched by Bristol internet users in 2023, where the top position is ‘trains to London’. The image also shows a series of travel-related graphics and is sat on an orange background.

Let’s address the elephant in the room: A lot of Londoners moved to Bristol during the pandemic. This is likely why ‘trains to London’ topped the list of top UK travel destinations. Cardiff and Bath weren’t too far behind, though — two popular destinations for those seeking retail therapy, a decent day out with the family, or a big night on the town. Travelling North, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Liverpool seem to have worked their charms on Bristol’s natives — beating even the likes of Bournemouth and Brighton. 

Sport Events

A table showing the top keywords related to sports events searched by Bristol internet users in 2023, where the top position is ‘Six Nations 2023’. The image also shows a series of sports-related graphics and is sat on a light-blue background.

Given that just about every pub in the city was screening the Six Nations this year, its place as the most searched-for sports event in Bristol shouldn’t come as much of a shock! Bristol’s status as an international melting pot is clearly reflected in our varied taste in global sports — from the tyre-burning squeals of the British Grand Prix to the glitz and glamour of the Grand National and the Super Bowl. But as one of the most cycle-friendly spots in the UK, we definitely would’ve expected the Tour De France to place a little higher! It’s brilliant to see the more underrepresented events, such as the women’s FA Cup Final and the Para Athletics World Championships gaining some well-deserved attention, too. 

Top 10 Things Bristolians Googled in 2023

Overall, combining all categories, here are the top 10 things Bristolians searched for in 2023: 

  • Liverpool FC
  • Bristol Aquarium
  • Bristol Old Vic
  • Clifton Suspension Bridge
  • Love Saves the Day
  • o2 Academy Bristol
  • Real Madrid
  • Strictly Come Dancing
  • SS Great Britain
  • Thekla

Campaign methodology

Digital marketing agency Seeker set out to unveil Bristol’s most Googled terms of 2023. Seeker selected 10 core categories and then used relevant seedlists to collect 10-75 keywords per category. Where appropriate the keywords were modified to reflect an authentic search intent (e.g. for the slang category “what does + [slang word] + mean” and for the “Travel Abroad” category “flights to + [location]”).

Seeker used Google Keyword Planner to source the average monthly search volume in Bristol, UK for each keyword between January 2023 to November 2023. The highest search volumes from each category were then collected to showcase the top hits for each category. 

Data collected 30th November 2023.

Share This