These are the top trending Google searches for 2020
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  • The Google Year in Search 2020 results have been released, and they collectively tell the story of what kinds of things people were searching for over the past 12 months and wanted to know more about.

  • The top trending Google search results for the year include queries for things like the US presidential election results, as well as the coronavirus.
  • Google has also released the top trending Google search queries for categories that include people, news, movies, and TV shows.

From the contentiousness of the US presidential election to the carnage wrought by the coronavirus pandemic and the celebrity deaths that shocked us all, 2020 has definitely been a year marked by crises and bleak news headlines. For proof, look no further than the rundown of top trending search results for the year that Google released early Wednesday morning — these being the top trending searches from among the millions upon millions of queries that people turn to Google Search for over the course of every year (as opposed to the top searches ranked purely on the basis of quantity).

This means that, among other things, the top trending Google Year in Search 2020 results don’t include, for example, anything directly tied to President Trump, as you might expect. Searches for him are high and stay high from one year to the next. What these newly released search results reflect, rather, is the increase in the velocity for particular search queries from 2019-2020 — so, for example, that means the top overall trending Google searches for 2020 measure the things we were looking up a lot more this year compared to last year. With that framework in mind, you should have no trouble guessing the top two trending search items for the year: “Election results” and “coronavirus.”


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The “election results” trending search query makes a lot more sense, too, when you remember that this year’s US presidential election contest wasn’t confined to the day or so after November 3 like it is most years. Results for a handful of states were still outstanding as the election week drew to a close, which explained why people kept turning to Google over and over again in search of “election results.”

And the coronavirus pandemic — well, definitely no explanation needed there. Most of us didn’t even know what a coronavirus was this time last year.

Image source: Google

For a look at the full list, these were the top trending Google search queries for 2020, ranked in descending order:

  • Election results

  • Coronavirus

  • Kobe Bryant

  • Coronavirus update

  • Coronavirus symptoms

  • Zoom

  • Who is winning the election

  • Naya Rivera

  • Chadwick Boseman

  • PlayStation 5

Other than the one-offs like PlayStation 5, which sparked a mad rush among gamers who quickly bought up Sony’s available console stock as each wave became available, you can see that there’s actually a lot of tragedy on this list. Celebrities like Kobe Bryant, Chadwick Boseman, and Naya Rivera suffered tragic deaths, their lives ending way too soon. The coronavirus pandemic is also represented on that list in at least three places — four, if you count “Zoom,” which saw a bumper crop of new users thanks to — well, we shouldn’t even have to say it.

The top trending search results for 2020 that Google released on Wednesday, meanwhile, also encompass specific categories like movies, TV shows, and people, beyond the overall top trending searches that you see above. Read on for a look at some of those interesting categories which serve as something of a time capsule for this tragic, extraordinary, massively important year of upheaval and change that we’ll still be talking about for a long time to come.

The most searched term in the past 24 hours globally is “election”.

The top trending search is “live election results”, which has spiked +5,000%, past 24 hours worldwide.https://t.co/3jJ7wKgSul#ElectionNight #Election2020 pic.twitter.com/cOYsOtmCtR

— GoogleTrends (@GoogleTrends) November 4, 2020

All of the lists below, by the way, are likewise ranked in descending order. Let’s continue with Google’s top trending news search queries for 2020:

  • Election results

  • Coronavirus

  • Stimulus checks

  • Unemployment

  • Iran

  • Hurricane Laura

  • Super Tuesday

  • Stock market

  • Murder hornet

  • Australia fires

Google’s top trending people searches:

  • Joe Biden

  • Kim Jong Un

  • Kamala Harris

  • Jacob Blake
  • Ryan Newman

  • Tom Hanks

  • Shakira

  • Tom Brady

  • Kanye West

  • Vanessa Bryant

Image source: YouTube

Top trending movie searches:

  • Parasite

  • 1917

  • Black Panther

  • Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey

  • Little Women

  • Just Mercy

  • Bad Boys 3

  • Sonic the Hedgehog

  • Contagion

  • Fantasy Island

Image source: Netflix

And top trending TV show searches:

  • Tiger King

  • Cobra Kai

  • Ozark

  • The Umbrella Academy

  • The Queen’s Gambit

  • Little Fires Everywhere

  • Outer Banks

  • Ratched

  • All American

  • The Last Dance

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.

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