Since 2001, Yahoo’s annual top searches have reflected each year’s guilty pleasures (from RuneScape to Minecraft), the au courant celebutante (from Paris Hilton to Kim Kardashian), the reigning pop stars (from Britney Spears to Ariana Grande) and the major stories (from the World Trade Center attacks to Ebola). So what do a billion searches tell us about society? Besides the power of recurring archetypes (such as the female musical ingenue) and social media promotion (#BreakTheInternet), the list captures the cultural mood, political concerns, and technological advances of our time. Dig deep enough, and you’ll see a fast-moving narrative of shifting norms. Check out the repeat visitors, new faces, and big issues on our 2014 list. And don’t forget to check out our list of top 10 news stories and the year’s obsessions.