Google's Year in Search 2021 shows how popular 'Squid Game' was this year

Google Trends Year In Search
Google Trends Year In Search (Image credit: Google)

What you need to know

  • Google has released its Year in Search results for 2021.
  • The list shows trending searches throughout the year for as many as 70 countries.
  • Squid Game, Pokémon Unite, and Bernie Sanders' mittens were among the top trending searches for 2021.

With the year coming to an end, Google has released its Year in Search for 2021. Google normally provides this list as a snapshot of trending searches throughout the year, although they don't necessarily represent top searches. Google says that the data is used to identify "topics that saw huge spikes in 2021, which means they're unique to this year compared to last year."

As Google highlights in its Year in Search video, many searches highlight just how 2021 was about healing from 2020, whether it be the rollout of vaccines or coming together to fight racial injustice. That said, there were many categories that Google tracked throughout the year, and these are just some of the notable trends from the U.S.


Squid Game

Source: Netflix (Image credit: Source: Netflix)

While "NBA" was the top trending search term in the U.S., it's not surprising to see some of the other results make the list. That includes the Netflix hit show Squid Game and the AMC stock, which gained popularity through Reddit earlier this year.

  • NBA
  • DMX
  • Gabby Petito
  • Kyle Rittenhouse
  • Brian Laundrie
  • Mega Millions
  • AMC Stock
  • Stimulus Check
  • Georgia Senate Race
  • Squid Game


Pokemon Unite Hero

Source: The Pokémon Company (Image credit: Source: The Pokémon Company)

Similar to 2020's Year In Search, Among Us managed to take the top spot in trending game searches. Resident Evil Village was another popular game, which isn't surprising given its spectacular reviews. Pokémon Unite was another popular game that launched this year on the best Android phones.

  • Among Us
  • Battlefield 2042
  • Resident Evil Village
  • Valheim
  • Forza Horizon 5
  • Madden NFL 22
  • Outriders
  • Pokémon Unite
  • Biomutant
  • Friday Night Funkin'


Bernie Sanders Mittens Got Meme

Source: KnowYourMeme (Image credit: Source: KnowYourMeme)

With memes growing in popularity, it's not surprising that Google has been keeping tabs on how they're trending. The top trending meme search was Bernie Sanders mittens. Squid Game also managed to make the list and several other lists for that matter, from trending recipes to hairstyles.

  • Bernie Sanders mittens
  • Hamster
  • Twisted tea
  • Squid Game
  • Sheesh
  • Red flag
  • Dab me up
  • Trade offer
  • Vin Diesel family
  • Suez Canal

These results are U.S.-specific, and there are quite a few more categories listed. And with vaccines available in many countries worldwide, many of the local searches also involved finding places to get vaccines. That said, Google has also listed the top trending global searches for as many as 70 countries, which you can view on its Year in Search 2021 page.

Derrek Lee
Managing Editor

Derrek is the managing editor of Android Central, helping to guide the site's editorial content and direction to reach and resonate with readers, old and new, who are just as passionate about tech as we are. He's been obsessed with mobile technology since he was 12, when he discovered the Nokia N90, and his love of flip phones and new form factors continues to this day. As a fitness enthusiast, he has always been curious about the intersection of tech and fitness. When he's not working, he's probably working out.