Google has presented its annual “Year in search”, Which offers information on the most searched terms around the world. Each year the report captures our most pressing questions, our greatest fears, and the events that caught our attention, but the 2020 edition is perhaps a little more predictable than most.
It will come as no surprise to anyone that this year’s rankings are dominated by the pandemic, either directly or by proxy. “Coronavirus” tops the overall ranking, while “coronavirus update” and “coronavirus symptoms” rank seventh and eighth respectively.
Widespread national blocks also led to a massive increase in searches related to remote work and homeschooling, as highlighted by “Zoom” in fourth position and “Google Classroom” in number ten.
The influence of the pandemic is also seen in Google’s analysis of trending topics (that is, terms with the highest percentage of year-over-year search growth).
With many people trying to make productive use of lock or quarantine, “how to learn to code” saw a significant increase this year, with Python courses the most requested of all. Meanwhile, school closings saw “how to be a teacher” on Google more than ever this year, but high search volumes for “parenting pranks” suggest kids had other plans in mind.
Search trends in 2020
“The most human trait is wanting to know why,” says the narrator of the video The Year in Google Search (above). “And in a year that tested everyone, the ‘why’ was sought more than ever.”
This year, we had questions about the coronavirus, the American elections, Black Lives Matter, the Australian bushfires, the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, and the premature deaths of Kobe Bryant, Chadwick Boseman and Maradona.
But we also had questions on more frivolous and less gloomy topics. Cardi B’s provocative WAP lyrics were (understandably) the most sought after of all songs, while the continued obsession with Joe Exotic (aka Tiger King) saw the incarcerated ex-zookeeper take first place on the television category.
Meanwhile, the increased search for “sourdough recipes” and “how to make bread” suggests that the world will not be without artisanal bakers once the pandemic finally wears off.
The Year in Google Search: Top 10
- Election results
- Kobe bryant
- India vs New Zealand
- Coronavirus update
- Coronavirus symptoms
- Joe biden
- Google Classroom