What Google’s Year in Search taught me

Finding hope in the search trends of 2020

3 years ago   •   1 min read

By Angelique Tzanakakis

Since 2010, Google has published their “Year in Search”, a list populated by the year’s most popular search terms (you can find it here). The list provides an insight into any given year’s pop culture trends and reveals how we react to newsworthy events.

We've experience a year unlike any in recent history. Over and above the pandemic, we are finally acknowledging systemic racism and social inequalities publicly (and in our searches). Unsurprising to most, searches for “Black Lives Matter” were up five times compared to last year.

In these times where humanity is at its arguably weakest point, seeing trends like “How to be an ally”, “How to thank” and “Support small businesses'' increase in popularity brings me hope. Global searches for “invisible disabilities” doubled which shows that we are raising our collective awareness and growing our understanding of others.

Another trend that should bring you some hope is the popularity of the search “How to be anti-racist” compared to “How to be a millionaire”. Interestingly,  “How to change the world” was searched twice as much as “how to go back to normal”

People’s searches have moved away from finding ways to be rich and famous to ways to be a better person. Not all trends were serious, though - searches for “Pranks on parents” were popular.

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