Google Trends 2020: US Election, Coronavirus, Sourdough, And More

Top view of sourdough bread cut in two, held in the hands of an unrecognizable woman. Healthy food home-baked with organic ingredients, sourdough, and white flour. Bread sliced in 2 against a blue background.
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine

What has 2020 looked like through the lens of Google Search? New insights from Trends and provided by Google have revealed the key topics, top of mind, in the year that was.

It has been a year in which people around the world asked: “What day is it?” more than ever before, along with “how to make sourdough”—which was most searched in Australia, according to Google.

Globally, “how to be an ally” has been more searched than “how to be an influencer”, “mask emojis” have been more searched than “hug emojis” and Empathy and Happiness have both climbed to an all-time high.

Moreover, 2020 has been defined by the outbreak of coronavirus and our collective need for information has driven search interest for a range of topics to new highs—from Symptoms to Telecommuting (in other words, “working from home”). It has also prompted us to ask questions at record levels.

In Australia, “How to…?”, “What is…?”, “Can I?” and “Why?” have all been more searched this year than any other.

Top trending searches of the year

Trending searches, 2020 worldwide

  1. Coronavirus
  2. Election results
  3. Kobe Bryant
  4. Zoom
  5. IPL
  6. India vs New Zealand
  7. Coronavirus update
  8. Coronavirus symptoms
  9. Joe Biden
  10. Google Classroom.

Trending searches, 2020 in Australia

  1. US election
  2. Coronavirus
  3. NBA
  4. Zoom
  5. Coronavirus symptoms
  6. Kobe Bryant
  7. Weather tomorrow
  8. Fires near me
  9. Coronavirus Victoria
  10. Trump vs Biden.

Top trending news

Trending news, 2020 worldwide

  1. Coronavirus
  2. Election results
  3. Iran
  4. Beirut
  5. Hantavirus
  6. Stimulus checks
  7. Unemployment
  8. Tesla stock
  9. Bihar election result
  10. Black Lives Matter.

Trending news, 2020 in Australia

  1. US election
  2. Coronavirus
  3. Fires near me
  4. Coronavirus Victoria
  5. Toilet paper
  6. NSW fires
  7. Qantas share price
  8. Air quality Melbourne
  9. Beirut explosion
  10. NSW coronavirus.

US Election

The top trending search term overall in Australia this year is “US Election” and, accordingly, Election is also among the top trending topics for Australia in 2020, surging to an all time high in November.

The 2020 US Election has been the top searched election in the world, ever. “How to vote” and Early Voting have also been more searched than ever before this year.

In Australia, search interest for the US election in November was five times higher than interest for the last Australian federal election in May 2019.

Singapore, Australia and New Zealand are the top three countries searching for “US election” in 2020. In Australia, the US election even trended higher in search than the bushfires.

Coronavirus may rank second in overall trending searches this year—meaning it didn’t have as big a spike as the US Election—but it has nevertheless been one of the most searched topics in Australia, ranking third behind Weather and News.

From the beginning of March, coronavirus was the most searched topic for two months straight and it has also seen one of the highest monthly spikes on record for any topic since Trends data has been collected—this is true not just in Australia but globally.

Most searched questions for coronavirus, 2020 in Australia

  1. How many cases of coronavirus in Australia?
  2. How did coronavirus start?
  3. How many people have died from coronavirus?
  4. What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
  5. How many covid cases in Victoria today?
  6. When will coronavirus end?
  7. Is coronavirus airborne?
  8. How long does coronavirus last?
  9. Can you get coronavirus twice?
  10. How long does coronavirus last on surfaces?

Other topics at an all-time high

According to Google, coronavirus has driven search interest for a range of topics to new record highs, from Masks to the seemingly unrelated Toilet paper—Google confirmed that Australia is still the top country for search interest in toilet paper this year.

In addition, Australia has searched more for exercise equipment than any other country. The topic hit a record high in April in Australia.

Exercise has also never been more searched in Australia than it has this year.

The top trending workout is the “Pamela Reif ab workout” which spiked 3,200 per cent. Aussie YouTube creator Chloe Ting was the most searched personality for fitness though.

In a throwback to the 1980s, the top trending piece of gym equipment is the Aerobic Step, which spiked more than 5,000 per cent.

Dumbbells, weights, treadmills, and exercise bikes are also at a record high this year in Australia, among others.

Furthermore, Australians have never been more interested in the news, the stock market or what’s going on in Victoria than we have in 2020.

Australia is the number one country searching for “restrictions” in 2020. Search interest for “Can I go fishing?” repeatedly spiked following restriction updates throughout the year, and has been searched at a record high in Australia.

Australia is also top ranked for Border related searches. The top and trending queries relate to the Queensland border closure—“QLD border” and “border pass QLD”—and we are number two for Travel searches (behind the United Kingdom).

Globally, search interest for pyjamas and sweatpants hit a record high this year. While Australia is not top ranked for “sweatpants”, we sure are number one for “trackies”, which have been searched at an all-time high this year.

The top trending related topic for “track pants” in 2020 is Tie-dye, with search interest for “tie dye track pants” spiking 5,000 per cent to a record high in Australia.

Definition is a consistently highly searched topic in Australia—often ranking in the top three topics annually—but in 2020 it too soared to a new high.

Ranked number eight for definition searches is “Barre”, which hit an all-time high in Australia in March after the PM’s viral press conference gaffe. As a result, Australia is also the number one country searching for Barre in 2020.

Top trending Definition searches, 2020 in Australia

  1. COVID
  2. Pandemic
  3. Branch stacking
  4. Stimulus package
  5. Stand down
  6. Portmanteau
  7. BIPOC
  8. Barre
  9. Lockdown

Top trending “How to….?” searches, 2020 in Australia

  1. How to make hand sanitizer
  2. How to make a face mask
  3. How to use Zoom
  4. How to get tested for coronavirus
  5. How to make bread
  6. How to make self raising flour
  7. How to apply for Centrelink
  8. How to buy shares
  9. How to apply for JobKeeper
  10. How to make whipped coffee.

Top trending “Can I….?” searches, 2020 in Australia

  1. Where can I buy toilet paper?
  2. Where can I buy hand sanitiser?
  3. Where can I get tested for coronavirus?
  4. Can I access my super?
  5. How many people can I have in my house?
  6. When can I access my super?
  7. Can I go fishing in NSW?
  8. How much can I borrow home loan?
  9. How far can I travel in QLD?
  10. Can I leave Australia?

Christmas holiday trends

In a fitting end to the year that has seen Australians spend a not-insignificant amount of time in our comfies, “Christmas pyjamas” and “Christmas onesies” are both at a record high.

Christmas trees are also being searched more than ever before in Australia over the past month, along with pre-lit trees.

The top trending Christmas related search in the past 30 days, spiking 5,000 per cent, is for “koala in Christmas tree” after a live (and very cute) koala was found in a family Christmas tree in Adelaide.

By the by, search interest for koalas is also at an all-time high this year in Australia and globally following last season’s catastrophic bushfires.

A sign of our enthusiasm for the holiday season (or Australians’ collective keenness for 2020 to be over): search interest for “How many days till Christmas” is also being searched at record levels in Australia in 2020.

Featured image source: iStock/Say-Cheese


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