From Covid To Zoom Dating, Google Reveals What We Were All Googling In 2020
Google searches have become a sort of cultural thermometer that tell us what people are interested in. Obviously, 2020 has been been unlike any ar that any of us have lived before. And the Google data reflects that, as it details not only our likes and dislikes but also our hopes and our fears.
Based on Google’s report on the Year in Search, we see just how difficult 2020 has been for so many of us. But we also see in the data a resilience and hope for the future.
Also, given that many top search spot are taken by Latino artists and musicians, it’s evident that Latino culture is alive and well, despite an onslaught of attacks on our community and culture. Here’s some of the top Google searches from a year that will go down in history as one of the craziest ever.
The Top Ten searches offer proof of just how intense 2020 really was.
The top ten searches in the U.S. this year reflect two of the biggest stories of 2020: the pandemic and the presidential election. The Google lists are based on the searches that had the highest spike this year as compared to the previous year, so they discount terms that are generally searched every year.
This tumultuous year has resulted in some pretty bleak top search results, with “stimulus checks” and “unemployment” among the top news stories, as well as “Australia fires” and “murder hornets,” on top of everything coronavirus-related.
The most searched term was “election results,” with “who is winning the election,” taking seventh place, perhaps reflecting how long it took for the official results to be announced.
The word “coronavirus” was understandably in second place, with “coronavirus update” and “coronavirus symptoms” taking fourth and fifth place, respectively, followed by “Zoom” in sixth place, in a year where we have had to connect virtually amid social-distancing and self-isolation.
Plenty of Latinos also took top search spots on Google, reflecting how we as a community are more important than ever.
In a year of catastrophic loss, one loss seems to have struck a major chord among all of us – the tragic loss of Naya Rivera. The former Glee star was the 8th most searched topic in all of 2020 as people looked for information on her untimely death.
And props to Shakira, who became the 7th most searched person in 2020, thanks in part to her history-making Super Bowl half time performance with Jennifer Lopez – which also saw J Balvin and Bad Bunny make an appearance.
Of course, the Coroanvirus pandemic greatly affected our Google searches this year.
The effect of the pandemic can be seen in a spike in searches for all things virtual, with the U.S. searching for virtual museum tours, virtual classroom, and even virtual marriage.
The pandemic and its subsequent stay-at-home orders have also influenced the most popular “how-to” searches of the year, from “how to cut men’s hair at home” to “how to make hand sanitizer.”
The growing Black Lives Matter movement also helped change Google’s search data in 2020.
From the murders of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd to Breonna Taylor and Elijah McClain, the police killings of unarmed Black Americans has many of us looking for answers and solutions.
Both George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery made the top ten most searched deaths in 2020, pointing to people’s interest in their stories.
But amid all the loss and pain of 2020, the hope and resilience also shines through.
There’s no denying that 2020 was one hell of a year. With so many people out of work, struggling to feed their families, in the hospitals battling for their lives, or simply trying to exist in the U.S. as a Black American, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
However, our Google searches also point to a strong sense of hope and resilience that should give all of us reason to celebrate the future. From vaccines for COVID-19 that were developed at a record-breaking speed to history-making searches for “how to help…,” it’s obvious that the human spirt and desire to keep moving forward is alive as it ever was.
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