The Sustainable Development Agenda was adopted by 193 world leaders in September 2015 and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the "global goals" officially came into force on the 1 January 2016.

If the Goals are to be met, there needs to be political will and the the best chance for this is making sure everyone on the planet is aware and reminds their political leaders that they have made a pledge, but how do you make everyone aware? Plug it with celebrities..!

Jamie Oliver, Leonardo DiCaprio and the Spice Girls are just a few of the many names that have promoted the goals. Still wondering what’s Jamie’s favourite goal? You might expect it to be #2 Zero Hunger but that would conflict with his own war against fat people, so sensibly he went for #3 Good Health.    

 

Are the goals trendy yet?


Well, the graph below [Google Trends] shows the interest in the Sustainable Development Goals between September 2015 and April 2017 has grown. Numbers between 0-100 represent search interest at anytime relative to the peak interest. We can see that interest levels at anytime have not reached the level when global leaders first signed the goals at the end of September 2015 however the green line shows that there has been a steady increase in worldwide interest.

The two troughs in the graph are at christmas time. One way to solve this decline in interest could be to get Band Aid back together with updated lyrics, “Do they know about the SDGs.”  

The two troughs in the graph are at christmas time. One way to solve this decline in interest could be to get Band Aid back together with updated lyrics, “Do they know about the SDGs.”  

 

What should we call the goals?


It’s been over one year since the goals came into force and it appears the “sustainable development goals” is how they are most well known. This is compared to Google search volumes for “SDGs” and “Global Goals.” However, we could also read this to be that people are just searching to find out what the heck they are. It's just like that funny time when people searched for “what is brexit?” shortly after they voted for it, groan.

SDG Google Search volumes

What's the most popular goal?

We can’t say for sure, what’s the most popular goal but according to Google’s monthly search volumes we can see that goal #4 Quality Education and goal #16 Peace, justice and strong institutions are the most searched for goals. Although we can confirm that goal #4 is also Nancy Ajram's favourite, this powerful endorsement doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the most popular goal because the data show’s that goal #1 No Poverty is the least searched for goal, quite possibly meaning it’s actually the most well known.

If you’d like to make your own conclusions about what’s the most popular global goal to bet your money on in the race to end poverty, inequality and climate change by 2030 you can play around with Google Trends or sign up to a free Google AdWords account to use their keyword planner tool.


This article was written by Jason Williams, a Google AdWords specialist, working with charities who’d like to take advantage of £7500* per month in free advertising from Google.

*Actual amount is $10,000 - figure used is based on a plummeting pound against the dollar, thanks Brexit.