Top U.S. Google 2020 Search Terms Revealed—Coronavirus, Election, Celebrity Deaths and More

Google has published its 2020 year in search and the results reflect how hard this year has been, with terms surrounding coronavirus and the U.S. election taking the top places.

The Google lists are based on the searches that had the highest spike this year as compared to the previous year, so they discount terms that are generally searched every year.

This tumultuous year has resulted in some pretty bleak top search results, with "stimulus checks" and "unemployment" among the top news stories, as well as "Australia fires" and "murder hornets," on top of everything coronavirus-related.

Top Searches of 2020

The top 10 searches in the U.S. this year reflect two of the biggest stories of 2020: the pandemic and the presidential election.

The most searched term was "election results," with "who is winning the election," taking seventh place, perhaps reflecting how long it took for the official results to be announced.

The word "coronavirus" was understandably in second place, with "coronavirus update" and "coronavirus symptoms" taking fourth and fifth place, respectively, followed by "Zoom" in sixth place, in a year where we have had to connect virtually amid social-distancing and self-isolation.

This year, we have tragically lost well-loved celebrities, which is also reflected in the top searches of the year, as the late Kobe Bryant, who died in January, Naya Rivera, who died in July, and Chadwick Boseman, who died in August, all appear on the list.

Finally, the tenth most searched term of 2020 is the PlayStation 5, the next-gen Sony console which was released in November and has been notoriously difficult to get a hold of since.

Google
In this photo illustration, the logos of the applications, Google Maps, Google and Gmail are displayed on the screen of a tablet on October 23, 2018 in Paris, France. Chesnot/Getty

Aside from the top searches list, the wildness of 2020 is also reflected in the most-searched-for news stories.

This year, the U.S. has Googled election results, coronavirus, stimulus checks, unemployment, Iran, Hurricane Laura, Super Tuesday, stock market, murder hornet, and Australia fires.

The effect of the pandemic can be seen in a spike in searches for all things virtual, with the U.S. searching for virtual museum tours, virtual classroom, and even virtual marriage.

The pandemic and its subsequent stay-at-home orders have also influenced the most popular "how-to" searches of the year, from "how to cut men's hair at home" to "how to make hand sanitizer."

Most Searched People of 2020

The most-searched-for people of 2020 reflect the year in politics, with President-elect Joe Biden, leader of North Korea Kim Jong Un, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris taking up the top three spots.

Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot and seriously injured by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, is next on the list, followed by Ryan Newman, a car racing driver who suffered a serious crash in February.

The remaining spots are filled by the celebrities who made headlines this year. Tom Hanks is fifth on the list, who suffered from COVID-19 in March, followed by Shakira, who performed at the Superbowl in February.

Next is Tom Brady, who became the quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March, and then Kanye West, who ran for president of the U.S. Finally, the tenth most searched for person of the year is Vanessa Bryant, who lost her husband, Kobe, and her daughter, Gianna, in a helicopter crash in January.

Top Culture Searches of 2020

However, the lockdown and stay-at-home orders have given us all a lot more time to watch movies and TV shows.

In terms of Google searches, the top five movies of the year were Parasite, 1917, Black Panther, Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey, and Little Women. Meanwhile, the most searched TV shows include Netflix favorites Tiger King, Cobra Kai, Ozark, The Umbrella Academy, and The Queen's Gambit.