2020 was, by all accounts, a strange year. One that we as a population would rather avoid than repeat but like every year, my stat geek inside eagerly awaits the arrival of Google Trends Year in Search for 2020. Which then got me thinking. What are the trends that might not be covered this year and what are the funny, or interesting, searches that happened?
For this blog post I’m going to be using Google Trends, which is free and available to everyone, and is just a collection of what my friends and I could remember. So I’d like to apologise if there is anything that was missed out.
The changing of how we work came to my mind immediately when the whole world went to work from home and lockdown in the middle of March. We cooked, watched the television, and focused on adding backgrounds to our video calls.
Anyone remember Banana Bread? What about a Sourdough Starter? When lockdown was announced, everyone was talking about what they could do to take up the time they would now be spending inside.
Do they craft, decorate, or bake? There was an increase in average searches in the UK for “hobbies” as the Coronavirus pandemic hit so it was obvious that people thinking about what to do.
But I think the best search result for this time was definitely Banana Bread, which shot straight up in March to its biggest peak in five years. That is a lot of Banana.
As everyone got confined to their houses and work moved to the digital realm, many of us were thinking about how to make our bedrooms, home offices, living rooms, and kitchens look better. Whether we focused on table lamps, or things behind us – most of us looked for backgrounds.
Zoom was by-far the most popular video conferencing software, mainly because it was free and Zoom backgrounds saw a huge increase in April 2020 as we searched for things like The Deathstar, The Hallway from the Shining, Joe Exotic, and The Simpson’s Couch.
Back in March, Netflix released the show “Tiger King” and it had an array of memorable characters that were parodied throughout the world. They certainly caught our attention, albeit for a short time.
Certainly, Tiger King is what I would consider an overnight, viral, sensation with how quickly it peaked and disappeared. Comparing Tiger King to the other major sensation at the time, bread, it peaked higher but was shorter-lived. We wanted to consume food, more than we wanted to consume TV.
On a much more serious note, the political landscape was shaken numerous times throughout 2020, with the US Election hitting headlines in October and November when Joe Biden beat Donald Trump to the White House and Black Lives Matter became much more mainstream after the tragic killing of George Floyd.
The incredible increase of Black Lives Matter, as a topic across the world, was something to watch. It came after relations deteriorated in the US. Although the search trend didn’t last, there are some notable joys to take from this new resurgence. This is the highest that Black Lives Matter, as a topic, in search has ever been (in the last five years) and the average rose for a long time after the initial peak.
Such a lovely place and bizarrely at on 2020 become the middle of a massive political scandal, thanks to government aide Dominic Cummings when he headed to the town to “check his eyesight” with his wife and kids before braving a 200 mile, nonessential, journey back to London.
What this particular trend shows us is how major political figures can change the interest in search terms overnight.
Brexit has been a big topic for the last, forever, whether you voted leave or remain one thing is becoming certain now – we are all pretty fed up of hearing about it. But the interesting thing about this search result is, the closer we get to D-Day the more searches increase.
A big surge at the beginning of the year is the official date when Britain left the EU and it’s understandable to see that large spike. As negotiations reach their end and the transition period comes to a close you can again see the increase interest again.
2020, more so than any other year, has been great to show how the impact of what happens in the news and in life can impact the search results for queries which shows the importance of your search rankings.
Businesses that have invested will have gained traction in either visits or sales because they appear for these results over a longer time.
It’s always good to have this understanding of the trends on Google because it helps people in Marketing understand audiences and behaviours, which is one of the main things we look for this industry. Using this quick trends, you learn more about what is likely to make a comeback or something that might be worth targeting in the future.
Only by understanding the past can we influence what happens in the future.