What you need to know
- Every year, Google releases its Year in Search results which show popular trends throughout the year.
- 2020 results highlighted the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the U.S. presidential election.
- Top results include "Among Us", "Tiger King", and "Parasite".
Every year for the past two decades, Google has featured a list of the top searches throughout each given year. It's a nice little way to celebrate, relive, and even cringe at some of those trends. According to Google, the lists are "based on search terms that had the highest spike as compared to the previous year". Back in 2001, for example, Nokia was the top trending consumer brand, followed by Sony and Palm. How times have changed.
2020 is ending and while we may not want to relive it, taking a look at Google's Year in Search 2020 results can allow us to reflect on a troubling year and all the things that we've managed to overcome. Here are the U.S.-specific search trends for the year:
It's not surprising that the U.S. election was among top of the list for general searches this year, especially since the whole world was watching. It had been looming over us for what seemed like four years, and the onset of the global pandemic seemed to intensify things politically. The days leading up to the election were tense, but the days after were even tighter as results were still being counted and many states were neck and neck. And now, a month later, the election results are still being contested.
- Kobe Bryant
- Coronavirus update
- Coronavirus symptoms
- Who is winning the election
- Naya Rivera
- Chadwick Boseman
- PlayStation 5
While COVID-19 was a major topic for the year, so was the untimely passing of several beloved public figures. Sony Playstation 5 managed a top 10 spot over the XBOX Series X/S.
Parasite was released in South Korea in 2019, becoming the first South Korean film to win the highest honor at Cannes Film Festival. It was then released in the United States in February 2020, just as the pandemic started becoming a major global concern, and has since become the highest-grossing South Korean film.
- Black Panther
- Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey
- Little Women
- Just Mercy
- Bad Boys 3
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Fantasy Island
Given the social unrest in the U.S. as well as the passing of Chadwick Boseman, it's no surprise to see Black Panther near the top of the list. Contagion also made the list, despite being released in 2011. The film bears a disturbing resemblance to the current pandemic, particularly in how it's been handled.
This one sort of speaks for itself. While more people were forced to start working from home, video streaming services blew up, and with it came the rise of Tiger King. It was a way to get everyone's mind off the pandemic, sparking conspiracy theories about the disappearance of Carol Baskin's husband.
- Cobra Kai
- The Umbrella Academy
- The Queen's Gambit
- Little Fires Everywhere
- Outer Banks
- All American
- The Last Dance
Most of the top searched TV shows are featured on Netflix, with the exception of Little Fires Everywhere and All American, air on Hulu and The CW, respectively.
Two years after Among Us was released on mobile, the Mafia-like game gained newfound popularity amid the pandemic and dependence on video calling services like Zoom. It's a fun way for friends to play together without being together, sussing out which of the players is an imposter picking everyone else off, one-by-one. A sequel was previously announced, but developers decided to focus on improving the original game instead.
- Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
- Genshin Impact
- Ghost of Tsushima
- Animal Crossing
- Assassin's Creed Valhalla
- The Last of Us 2
- Madden NFL 21
Jackbox is another popular game to play online with friends, with a number of different party packs to keep you entertained. Genshin Impact was among the top editors' picks in the Google Play Users' Choice Awards, while many of the games listed are also included in Android Central's Best Playstation Games of 2020.
You can check out Google's Year in Search for the full list of global trending topics for 2020, or view the results from different countries (some may not be available).
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