14th December 2020

The Year in Search – 2020

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Eleanor Hourston
Search Manager
Read time: 4min
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As we reflect on a year like no other, we realise that 2020 has taught us many things. We have had to adapt to a new way of life with social distancing, face masks, furlough, working from home, homeschooling and cutting our own hair! Working and living differently has meant we have turned to Google more than ever; to learn new skills, find out what is going on in the world and shop. 

Let’s take a look at the top 10 Searches in the UK this year: 

  1. Coronavirus 

  1. US election 

  1. Caroline Flack 

  1. Coronavirus symptoms 

  1. Coronavirus update 

  1. Premier League 

  1. Boris Johnson 

  1. Eat Out to Help Out 

  1. Kobe Bryant 

  1. Kim Jong-un 

It is unsurprising that Coronavirus has been the top trending search this year and this is the case globally. Coronavirus influences have also been seen in many of the top “how to…” searches including “how to make a face mask?”, “how to make hand sanitizer?” and “how to make bread?” making it as the top 3. In addition, unsurprisingly Coronavirus symptoms, Coronavirus updates and the Eat Out to Help Out feature in the top 10 searches in the UK this year. Comparing these to the top featured searches of last year: the Rugby/Football World Cup, Avengers: Endgame and Caitlin Jenner, really shows us how much can change in a year. 

Amongst the Coronavirus-filled searches, 2020 has also seen some significant political events. The US election that concluded last month with Joe Biden winning reached the second spot for highest trending search in the UK. And it is not just politics abroad that have sparked the interest of the Brits. New political measures such as lockdown, social distancing and tiers have undoubtedly contributed to Boris Johnson climbing to position 7 in UK searches. The rumour that Kim Jong-un had passed away is also the probable cause of this search making the top 10 in the UK. 

Joe Biden
President-Elect Joe Biden (Source: CNBC)

There have also been losses that have been felt by many this year. The tragic suicide of TV presenter Caroline Flack sparked a much-needed review of the impact the media has on those in the public eye with the message “be kind” going viral on social media. The helicopter crash that caused the death of 9 people including Kobe Bryant, a professional American basketball player, and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, was also a sobering reminder to make the most of time with loved ones. 

And finally, a year in search wouldn’t be complete without a mention of sport with the Premier League featuring in 6th place. Despite Coronavirus suspending play for 3 months, 2020 saw the mighty reds, Liverpool, end 30 years of pain to bring home the trophy from the longest premier league season on record (no prizes for guessing where my loyalties lie!). 

Liverpool FC
Liverpool FC celebrating winning Premier League title (Source: LFC)

Whilst 2020 has not necessarily panned out how anyone would have expected, this year has also been filled with a desire for positive change. For the first time, Black Lives Matter was searched worldwide and at an increase of 5 times more than last year and ways to donate to global disasters such as the Australian Bush Fires and Yamen features heavily in searches across the world. 

Google has put together a touching tribute to 2020 and what we have learned: https://youtu.be/0DHMhd3mZOk 

If you are eager for more, there are plenty of other interesting Google searches that define an unforgettable year: https://trends.google.com/trends/yis/2020/GLOBAL/ 

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