Google Reveals the Top Trends of 2020 With ‘Year in Search’


Google on Wednesday released its anticipated ‘Year in Search 2020′ to detail the top trending searches in India and around the globe this year. As one can expect, the list of top searches on Google included ‘coronavirus’, ‘US election results’, and ‘PM Kisan Yojana’. However, the term ‘Indian Premier League’ surpassed all other queries in 2020 and became the top trending query on Google in India. Globally, ‘coronavirus’ was the top search. This was expected as the pandemic has disrupted the lives of millions around the world.

In India, Google said that ‘Indian Premier Leaguemade it the top trending query in 2020, followed by ‘coronavirus’, ‘US election results’, ‘PM Kisan Yojana’, and ‘Bihar election results’. Queries around the Indian Premier League, coronavirus, and the US presidential elections also led the list of major news events searched on Google. Other important news events that triggered heavy search activity included the unprecedented lockdown, Nirbhaya case, Beirut explosion, bushfires in Australia, and locust swarm attack.

US President-elect Joe Biden emerged as a top trending personality on Google in India, along with news anchor Arnab Goswami, and Bollywood singer Kanika Kapoor. Actors Amitabh Bachchan, Kangana Ranaut, Rhea Chakraborty, and Ankita Lokhande were also amongst the top trending personalities. International personalities that were trending on Google in India include North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un, Afghan cricketer Rashid Khan, and US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

In terms of top trending movies of 2020 on Google, Dil Bechara topped the list, followed by Tamil action-drama Soorarai Pottru. Biopics including Tanhaji, Shakuntala Devi, and Gunjan Saxena also came in the top five spots. However, the only Hollywood movie that made it to the list was Extraction staring Chris Hemsworth.

Google also saw a surge in queries on web series in the country this year, with Spanish crime drama Money Heist (Netflix) topping the list, followed by Indian titles including Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story (SonyLIV), and Mirzapur 2 (Amazon Prime Video).

Most interesting search queries

Apart from top trending search queries in India, Google said that it found that most interesting search terms were centered around ‘How to’ and ‘What is’ lists as people were curious to learn about different things while staying indoors during the pandemic. ‘How to make paneer?’ and ‘How to increase immunity?’ topped the list, followed by ‘How to make dalgona coffee?’ On the part of top ‘What is’ queries, ‘What is binod?’ surpassed all other questions, referring to a popular meme that originated from a YouTube comment posted by a person of the same name. People, however, also searched for some virus-related queries such as ‘What is plasma therapy?’ and ‘What is hantavirus?’

Local search queries

Since the lockdown led by the coronavirus outbreak impacted many people in the country, local search queries surged with ‘Near me’ queries were dominated by ‘Food shelters near me’ followed by ‘COVID test near me’. Some netizens also searched for ‘Broadband connection near me’ and ‘Laptop shop near me’ quite prominently this year.

Alongside the top search trends in India, Google provided the Year in Search results for global markets. ‘Coronavirus’ topped the list, followed by ‘Election results’, ‘Kobe Bryant’, ‘Zoom‘, and ‘IPL‘. On the news events front, trends were leading around coronavirus, election results, Iran, Beirut, and hantavirus.

Actors that were top trends globally on Google include Tom Hanks, Joaquin Phoenix, Amitabh Bachchan, Ricky Gervais, and Jada Pinkett Smith. On top trending game searches, Among Us topped the list, followed by Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, Valorant, Genshin Impact, and The Last of Us 2.

In 2020, we sadly lost many of our loved ones, and Google also showed a similar pattern in its Year in Search results. Kobe Bryant, Naya Rivera, Chadwick Boseman, Sushant Singh Rajput, and George Floyd were among the personalities who were missed globally this year.

It is important to note that Google provided its Year in Search results on the basis of spikes it received in traffic for particular queries between January 1 and November 10. This means that the queries pointed out by the search giant aren’t the most searched or top search topics on the Google site.

Google also created a recap video to highlight the Year in Search 2020 in audio-visual format. The three-minute video shows the uncertainty we had this year and how it made us curious about different things.


How are we staying sane during this Coronavirus lockdown? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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