top Google searches 2020 cover image

Google has revealed the top Google searches in 2020 by category. The Google year in search report utilises Google trends data to uncover the most frequently searched people, topics, and news themes in 2020.

The report is summarised in a three-minute video (viewable at the bottom of this article) that begins with the introduction.

The most human trait is to want to know ‘why’

The ominous introduction explains that Google humanised the uncertainty that was faced by many during 2020. From natural disasters to flood and bushfires, to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the political unrest that characterised the United states. Google users put their worries into the ether. Some of the questions that were highlighted in the video include:

  • “Why am I so tired?”
  • “Why are schools closed?”
  • “Why is Australia Burning?”
  • “Why are there so many fires?”
  • “Why is the sky orange?”
  • “Why are people protesting?”
  • “Why black lives matter?”
  • “Why is empathy important?”
  • “Why is democracy important?”
  • “Why do people dream?”

The unprecedented global events of 2020 have defined the way that users are interacting with search engines.

Google breaks down the most searched things of 2020 by category to give a snapshot of who, what, why, where and how Google users were thinking in 2020.

Top 5 Searches of 2020 (Totals)

  1. Coronavirus
  2. Election results
  3. Kobe Bryant
  4. Zoom
  5. IPL

Top 5 Athletes Searched in 2020

  1. Ryan Newman
  2. Michael Jordan
  3. Tyson Fury
  4. Tom Brady
  5. Mike Tyson

NASCAR driver Ryan Newman was the most searched athlete of 2020 following a horrific racing accident back in 2020 that left the driver in a critical condition.

Top 5 Searches by Loss (Deaths)

  1. Kobe Bryant
  2. Naya Rivera
  3. Chadwick Boseman
  4. Sushant Singh Rajput
  5. George Floyd

The January death of NBA legend and Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant sent shockwaves through the Basketball and global sports community.

Top 5 Most Searched People in 2020

  1. Joe Biden
  2. Kim Jong Un
  3. Boris Johnson
  4. Kamala Harris
  5. Tom Hanks

President elect Joe Biden led the way for most searched people of 2020. The suspected death of Kim Jong Un that preceded his public reappearance caused a stir in the news and on Google.

*Note: there looks to be an obvious omission from the above list of top five most searched people of 2020. According to SEMrush data from the United States, “Donald Trump” received 5-million monthly searches in November 2020. At the same time, Joe Biden received 1.8-million. Perhaps following suit with Twitter, Google does not recognise the outgoing president in some data.  

US Presidential Google Search data 2020

Top 5 News Searches in 2020

  1. Coronavirus
  2. Election results
  3. Iran
  4. Beirut
  5. Hantavirus

Unsurprisingly, Coronavirus was the most searched news topic of 2020. The US Presidential Election also featured prominently as Google Users scrambled for answers following the election.

Top 5 Concerts Searched for in 2020

  1. Together At Home concert
  2. Fire Fight Australia concert
  3. Garth Brooks drive in concert
  4. Travis Scott Fortnite concert
  5. BTS online concert

It was a challenging year for live entertainment. Nowhere personified the change in entertainment more than the “Together At Home Concert” that kept Google users alert during the year.

Top Lyric Searches of 2020

  1. WAP
  2. Savage Love
  3. GOOBA
  4. Skechers
  5. Dynamite

Cardi B left users scratching their heads with her song “WAP”. We won’t specify it here, but a quick Google search will uncover everything you could want to know about the topic.

Top Recipe Searches of 2020

  1. Dalgona coffee
  2. Ekmek
  3. Sourdough bread
  4. Pizza
  5. Lahmacun

In a year that was characterised by eating at home rather than dinging out, the viral (and visual) sensation of Dalgona Coffee took the world by storm.

Most Searched Actors of 2020

  1. Tom Hanks
  2. Joaquin Phoenix
  3. Amitabh Bachchan
  4. Ricky Gervais
  5. Jada Pinkett Smith

Tom Hanks was one of the first Global Icons infected with COVID-19 virus back in February. Users rushed to Google to find out how he fared throughout the ordeal.

Most Searched Movies of 2020

  1. Parasite
  2. 1917
  3. Black Panther
  4. 365 Dni
  5. Contagion

The South Korean independent film caused waves in the film community. Parasite also took home the Academy Award for best picture – an usual feat for a foreign film.

Most Searched TV Shows of 2020

  1. Tiger King
  2. Big Brother Brasil
  3. Money Heist
  4. Cobra Kai
  5. The Umbrella Academy

Tiger King sent social media into a frenzy at the beginning of 2020. Users flocked to Google to learn more about the shows protagonists, follow-up, and the legitimacy of the claims made by those featured on the show.

Wrapping Up 2020 with Google Trends

2020 has been an unprecedented year in many ways. Google trends data provides a unique insights into the concerns, interests, and fascinations of the global community throughout the year.

All data in this article is courtesy of the Google Top Searches 2020 global report: