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Google releases top search terms for 2020, and they reflect our unprecedented year

Google doodle honors healthcare workers, researchers in COVID-19 crisis
Posted at 11:08 AM, Dec 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-09 15:38:32-05

The year 2020 was unlike any other, with so much uncertainty and new challenges. The world responded by asking “why”, according to the top global Google searches this year released this week.

The search platform says “why” questions were searched more in 2020 than in any other year. With questions like “why can’t I sleep,” “why social distancing,” and “why is it called COVID-19.”

Google says “insomnia” was searched globally more in 2020 than ever before.

Here in the U.S., the uncertainty of the election, coronavirus and the economy drove a lot of the search inquiries. Google separated results based on general topics in their annual report. The top five news-related searches were “election results,” “coronavirus,” “stimulus checks,” “unemployment,” and “Iran,” with “stock market” and “murder hornet” also making the top ten.

And people wanted more information, with questions like “coronavirus symptoms,” “COVID-19 testing sites near me,” and sarching the definitions of “pandemic,” “Juneteenth,” and “asymptomatic.”

Americans also went to Google to find how to keep themselves busy during the coronavirus pandemic, with queries like “recipes for Sourdough bread,” “how to cut men’s hair at home,” “dating during coronavirus,” “how to make a mask,” “where to buy toilet paper,” and searches for “virtual field trips” and “virtual museum tours.”

Joe Biden was the top person Americans typed into Google search, followed by Kim Jong Un, Kamala Harris, Jacob Blake and Ryan Newman.

Searches for Tom Hanks and Kobe Bryant were also high on Google’s list; Hanks contracted COVID-19 earlier this year and Bryant died tragically in a helicopter crash in January.

People were also moved to help. Searches for “how to help Black Lives Matter,” “how to help during coronavirus,” “how to donate blood,” and “how to help someone having a panic attack” were four of the top “how to” inquiries on Google search.