What did the UK Google in 2020?

Posted on December 21, 2020

 

Google has published its Year in Search 2020 report, giving an insight into what some of the world’s biggest countries searched for during this most unusual of years.

It may be boringly predictable that search terms like “Coronavirus”, “Coronavirus symptoms” and “Coronavirus updates” dominated the UK’s searches, but what is more interesting is how the pandemic has shaped our behaviour over the last 12 months, and what we have been trying to learn from Google as a result.

A look at the top ‘How to…?’ results reveals a safety-first approach from Google users, with the top two results being “how to make a face mask” and “how to make hand sanitizer”, but this also reflects a year in which people took a DIY approach to problem solving and learned how to make items themselves, rather than relying on convenience stores. This is also reflected in how we passed our time, with “how to make bread” the third highest search and, strangely, “how to cook eel” also appearing in the top 10, as well as two questions about how to cut hair.

In what has felt like a year of asking “when?”, it’s hardly surprising that the most Googled “When…?” questions are also almost all COVID-related. Questions like “When will lockdown end?”, “When will schools reopen?” and “When does Eat Out to Help Out end?” feature in the top 10. Many Brits might be surprised that we were more interested to know when gyms reopen (2nd place) than pubs (6th).

Perhaps surprisingly, it seems the virus did not really influence the people we searched for. TV presenter Phillip Schofield tops the list, perhaps due to coming out as gay in what feels like a different year, but was actually only back in February. With other personalities like Kanye West and Prince Harry on that list, it almost gives the impression of a normal year, with 2020 personalities like Captain Tom Moore, Marcus Rashford and Joe Wicks notable by their absence. Having said that, the Wicks phenomenon does seem to have prompted Google to create a ‘Fitness’ category this year, which he unsurprisingly dominates.

Keeping an eye on Google trends is an important part of keyword analysis and, whether it’s a “normal” year or a bizarre one like 2020, we’re always keen to keep in tune with what the country is Googling here at Engage Web.

Content Team Leader at Engage Web
John works for Engage Web as a Content Team Leader and regularly contributes to the website and programmes of his beloved Chester F.C.
John Murray
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