Jump directly to the Content


Who’s Searching for ‘Love’ Online? Bible Readers

The fruit of the Spirit is No. 1 at Bible Gateway—in both English and Spanish queries.
Who’s Searching for ‘Love’ Online? Bible Readers
Image: Getty Images

Of the 920 million readers who visited the world’s top Bible website last year, most are literally searching for love more than anything else.

Only 3 of the other 9 fruits of the Spirit joined love among Bible Gateway’s top searches of 2018: peace (No. 2), faith (No. 3), and joy (No. 4). The pattern holds true in Spanish-language searches, though gozo (joy) ranks 12 slots lower [full lists below].

Love has been the most popular topic at Bible Gateway, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year by reaching more than 14 billion views, ever since the site’s inception in 1993. Such searches perennially spike on Valentine’s Day.

“This may be the time of year that we talk most loudly about love, but [our] usage statistics show us that we long to understand and experience love throughout the year,” stated Andy Rau, Bible Gateway’s then-senior manager for content, in a 2017 post.

In 2014, when the site first offered more detailed stats, CT reported how “the word never fell out of the top 10 searches, and was the top searched word more than 200 days of the year.”

In contrast, searches for lust only came close to love on one day: September 30, 2015.

Image: Bible Gateway

Overall, searches for heart, pray, and spirit rose the most from 2016 to 2018. All rose in rank by double digits. (CT analyzed the top 2018 verses of Bible Gateway vs. YouVersion in December.)

Among CT’s coverage of Valentine’s Day, last year—on the first VaLENTine’s Day since WWII—CT noted how Twitter suggested chocolate and alcohol would be absent from many dates, while Tish Harrison Warren reflected on God’s message on “Ash Valentine’s Day.”

Bible Gateway’s top 25 topic searches in English for 2018:

  1. love
  2. peace
  3. faith
  4. joy
  5. hope
  6. heart
  7. pray
  8. holy spirit
  9. prayer
  10. spirit
  11. grace
  12. light
  13. fear
  14. children
  15. forgive
  16. heaven
  17. worship
  18. strength
  19. truth
  20. father
  21. the joy of the lord is my strength
  22. sin
  23. trust
  24. rest
  25. salvation

Bible Gateway’s top 25 topic searches in Spanish for 2018:

  1. amor
  2. fe
  3. paz
  4. gracia
  5. corazón
  6. luz
  7. padre
  8. mujer
  9. misericordia
  10. oración
  11. ofrenda
  12. pecado
  13. espíritu
  14. palabra
  15. esperanza
  16. gozo
  17. espíritu santo
  18. amigo
  19. familia
  20. gracias
  21. justicia
  22. hijos
  23. verdad
  24. camino
  25. corazón

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Read These Next