Google released its catalog of top trending searches for 2020 on Wednesday, revealing that all things COVID-19, remote work and the US election topped the search engine’s end-of-the-year list.
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no surprise that “coronavirus” was the top global search for the year, with “election results” following close behind. In fact, COVID-19-related phrases took three of the top 10 spots as users searched for updates and information on the respiratory disease’s symptoms.
The top “news” searches were, of course, coronavirus, election results, Iran, Beirut and the hantavirus, a family of viruses that are spread by rodents and have a mortality rate of 38%, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, reports emerged Tuesday that a Nevada resident had died after contracting one such virus.
The top five people that were searched for were, in order, projected US President-elect Joe Biden, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Biden’s running mate US Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and actor Tom Hanks, the latter likely because he was the first big-name celebrity to contract COVID-19 early on during the pandemic.
Legendary basketball player Kobe Bryant, who died in January in a helicopter crash in California, was the third-most-popular search; however, his name ranked number one under Google’s subset “Loss” list. Actors Naya Rivera, Chadwick Boseman, and Sushant Singh Rajput and Minnesota resident George Floyd rounded out the remainder of the list.
Under the top 10 TV shows in the US, streaming giant Netflix took the cake with its nine listed series that included “Tiger King,” “The Umbrella Academy,” “Ozark” and newly released “The Queen’s Gambit,” among other series.
In light of lockdowns implemented across the US and salons being shuttered for extended periods of time, the most-searched questions in the US under the beauty “how to” list included questions on cutting men’s hair at home, coloring one's hair, styling curtain bangs and even how to best wash one’s hands.
With musicians Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s hit “WAP” earning more than 90 million streams in the week after its release in August, it’s also no surprise the song’s title was the number one most-searched in the US under Google’s definition’s list. It was followed by “entanglement,” “antebellum,” “pandemic” and “asymptomatic.”
The word “entanglement” ended up on the list after actress Jada Pinkett-Smith admitted in July to having a romantic relationship with singer August Alsina. At the time, Pinkett-Smith was separated from husband Will Smith, and rather than referring to the relationship as an affair of sorts, she instead described it as an “entanglement.”
Elsewhere, users within the US searched for nearby COVID-19 testing sites, voting polls, wildfires that were ravaging much of the country's West Coast and protests that were being held.