Google’s Top Trending Searches of 2020, and Other Year-in-Review Lists

December 21, 2020

Google Top Trending Searches of 2020 Dec2020It’s that time again when the year-in-review lists are rolling in. And, what a year it’s been. There’s no surprise that Google’s top trending searches of 2020 show that, globally, the coronavirus was top-of-mind around the world this year, while people in the US were curious to find election results.

While the coronavirus topped the global list of the top 5 trending searches, people around the world also showed interest in the election results (#2).

On a sadder note, the untimely death of basketball star Kobe Bryant was the #3 global trending search.

Also in the top 5 globally was the tech company that kept everyone connected during the pandemic, Zoom (#4). And, in a nod to sports, the Indian Premier League (IPL) – which has experienced a surge in popularity – was the #5 trending search.

[Note: Top trending searches do not refer to searches with the most volume, but rather those with the highest amount of traffic over a sustained period in comparison to 2019.]

Within the US, election results proved the top trending search, followed by the coronavirus and Kobe Bryant. The pandemic appears again with coronavirus update at #4 and coronavirus symptoms at #5.

Rounding out the top 10 trending searches in the US were:

  • Zoom
  • Who is winning the election
  • Naya Rivera
  • Chadwick Boseman
  • PlayStation 5

Six of the top 10 search trends from the US also appeared on the list of top trending search terms globally, up from 4 last year.

Meanwhile, in terms of news, once again, the coronavirus was the top trending search globally, followed by election results, Iran, Beirut and another virus, the hantavirus. In the US, election results, coronavirus, stimulus checks, unemployment and Iran were the top 5 trending news searches.

Below is a brief selection of top-5 trending search lists from around the world and in the US.

People — Global

  • Joe Biden
  • Kim Jong Un
  • Boris Johnson
  • Kamala Harris
  • Tom Hanks

People — US

  • Joe Biden
  • Kim Jong Un
  • Kamala Harris
  • Jacob Blake
  • Ryan Newman

How to make — US

  • How to make hand sanitizer
  • How to make a face mask with fabric
  • How to make whipped coffee
  • How to make a mask with a bandana
  • How to make a mask without sewing

…during the coronavirus? – US

  • Best stock to buy during the coronavirus
  • Dating during coronavirus
  • Dentist open during coronavirus
  • Unemployment during coronavirus
  • Jobs hiring during coronavirus

TV Shows – US

  • Tiger King
  • Cobra Kai
  • Ozark
  • The Umbrella Academy
  • The Queen’s Gambit

Movies – US

  • Parasite
  • 1917
  • Black Panther
  • Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey
  • Little Women

Other Year-in-Review Lists

  • Twitter’s #ThisHappened review of 2020 on its platform highlights the pandemic as well as the passing of a much-loved actor. The announcement of the passing of Chadwick Boseman was not only the most retweeted post this year but also the most “Liked” of all time. Unsurprisingly, the most used hashtag was #COVID19. Twitter’s review can be found here.
  • Although YouTube has faithfully published its annual “Rewind” since 2010, it released a statement in November explaining that in an acknowledgement of 2020 being “different,” it would be breaking with tradition and not releasing the video this year.
  • Perhaps influenced by the increase in video game play during the pandemic, Animal Crossing: New Horizons topped the list of the most popular “things” on Tumblr this year. The popular video game was followed by Steven Universe, with wtFOCK, BTS and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker rounding out the top 5. The full top 20 can be accessed here.
  • Cardi B’s “WAP (featuring Megan Thee Stallion)” received the most thumbs-up on Pandora this year, taking over the spot from Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” which held the position last year. Roddy Ricch’s “The Box” and Drake’s “Laugh Now Cry Later (featuring Lil Durk)” followed in the #2 and #3 spots. You can find the list of the Top Thumb Hundred here.
  • Rapper Bad Bunny, tops the list of most-streamed artists globally on Spotify’s 2020 Wrapped list. Bad Bunny’s album “YHLQMDLG” also was the most streamed album on a global basis, while Billie Eilish was the most streamed female artist on the streaming music service this year.
  • When it comes to TV in the US, Nielsen reports that the top single telecast program of the year was Super Bowl LIV on Fox, followed by the Super Bowl Post Game broadcast on the same network. Football, again, tops the list of regularly scheduled programs, with Sunday Night Football (NBC) ranked #1 in the category. NCIS (CBS) and FBI (CBS) took the #2 and #3 spots.
  • TikTok has gotten in on the action and released its Top 100 list for 2020. In the US, the top viral video honor goes to @bellapoarch for her “Bella does M to the B” video. This was followed by “Skateboarding his way to fame” from @420Doggface208 and “The coworker you love to hate because WFH is hard” by @itscaitlinhello. Top hashtags include #YouHaveTo (#1), #BlindingLights (#2) and #HurtMyFeelings (#3).
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