Category Archives: Australia Blog

News and notes from Google down under

How we’re helping Aussies in their search for support

Editor’s note: This post is co-authored by Rachel Bowes, Head of Crisis Services and Quality at Lifeline Australia and Jill Newby, Associate Professor at Black Dog Institute. 



Early intervention and access to mental health support services are now more important than ever, following a difficult 14 months for Australians with bushfires, drought and COVID-19. 

Search interest for "What is depression?" reached its highest peak in more than a decade in March 2020 in Australia, so there is a great opportunity to direct people to the support they need — right at the moment they are looking for information. 

Starting today, anyone in Australia searching for depression can not only view trusted information on the condition, but also opt to take a 9-question self-assessment that is based on a clinically-validated questionnaire called PHQ-9 (Patient Health Questionnaire-9). This questionnaire is used by healthcare providers to evaluate someone’s level of depression and identify resources that would be most suitable to their needs. 


After completing Google’s new self-assessment, people can see their risk for depression as well as connect with evidence-based resources, crisis hotlines, and additional support from our teams at Black Dog Institute and Lifeline. 

With over 3 million people in Australia living with anxiety or depression, the more access to support that is offered the better. 1 in 5 Aussies will experience symptoms of mental illness in any given year – and roughly 60% of these people won’t seek help. So when organisations take steps to ensure people are aware that support is available and how to access them, we know it will help save lives. 

Over the past year, Lifeline’s Volunteer Crisis Supporters have been on the frontline, holding people safe as they battle the invisible effects of disaster – the impact on mental health. At Lifeline, the ‘new normal’ is responding to over 3,000 calls every day. That’s a person in crisis now reaching out for support every 30 seconds. 

Meanwhile the Black Dog Institute was quick to conduct research on how Australians were coping with the pandemic. Realising three quarters of participants said their mental health had worsened as a result of COVID-19, the medical research institute stepped up support through its online clinic offering telehealth support so everybody has the same access to support, no matter their location in Australia. 

Collectively, the Black Dog Institute and Lifeline welcome new resources that help people better understand their condition and empower them to seek out appropriate mental health support services. We are glad to work with Google to extend existing, clinically-validated tools to meet the needs of Australians, especially during this critical time.

Meet the new Nest Hub

Introducing the second-generation Nest Hub! Since we launched Google’s first smart display two years ago, it’s brought help to thousands of homes and we’ve been dedicated to exploring ways to make our devices even more helpful. 

The Nest Hub you love, but better 
The new Nest Hub’s speaker is based on the same audio technology as Nest Audio and has 50 percent more bass than the original Hub for a bigger, richer sound to fill any room with music, podcasts or audiobooks from services like YouTube Music and Spotify — or enjoy your favourite TV shows and movies with a subscription from providers like Netflix, Disney+ and Stan. With Quick Gestures, you can pause or play content at any time by tapping the air in front of your display. 
The new Nest Hub shows all your compatible connected devices in one place so you can control them with one tap. And with a built-in Thread radio, Nest Hub will work with the new connectivity standard being created by the Project Connected Home over IP working group, making it even simpler to control your connected home. 

Nest Hub is also full of help for your busy family. See your calendar, set timers, and create reminders with Family Notes, digital sticky notes to share chores and to-dos so everyone stays on track. 


New sleep features for better rest 
The Nest Hub has always helped you tackle the day; now, it can help you rest well at night. Many of us don’t get enough sleep, which is becoming the number one concern for adults when it comes to health and wellness. 
As people have started to recognise the need for better sleep, sleep trackers have continued to become a popular solution. But we wanted to offer an alternative way for people who may not want to wear something to bed to understand their sleep. 
We dug into the data, and because we also knew people felt comfortable with Nest Hub at their bedsides thanks to its camera-free design, we went to work. The result is Sleep Sensing, an opt-in feature to help you understand and improve your sleep — and is available as a free preview until next year. 
Sleep Sensing is completely optional with privacy safeguards in place so you’re in control: You choose if you want to enable it and there's a visual indicator on the display to let you know when it’s on. Motion Sense only detects motion, not specific bodies or faces, and your coughing and snoring audio data is only processed on the device — it isn’t sent to Google servers. You have multiple controls to disable Sleep Sensing features, including a hardware switch that physically disables the microphone. You can review or delete your sleep data at any time, and consistent with our privacy commitments, it isn't used for personalised ads. 
Even if you choose not to enable Sleep Sensing, you can still fall asleep and wake up easier with Nest Hub. The display dims to make your bedroom more sleep-friendly, and the “Your evening” page helps you wind down at night with relaxing sounds. When it’s time to wake up, Nest Hub’s Sunrise Alarm gradually brightens the display and increases the alarm volume. If you need a few more ZZZs, use Motion Sense to wave your hand and snooze the alarm. 


Sustainable design that matches any room 
The new Nest Hub will be available to Australians in two colours, to complement most rooms in the house: Chalk and Charcoal. It features an edgeless glass display that’s easy to clean and makes your Nest Hub an even more beautiful digital photo frame. And continuing our commitment to sustainability, Nest Hub is designed with recycled materials with its plastic mechanical parts containing 54 percent recycled post-consumer plastic. 

The second-generation Nest Hub is $149. It can be preordered online in Australia at the Google Store and other retailers from today.

Rising up to celebrate Mardi Gras 2021

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people gather on Oxford St to celebrate Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. While this year’s event looked a little different, the 2021 theme called on the community to RISE up and celebrate loudly, proudly – and safely. 

Over the past 5 years, we’ve supported Mardi Gras’ vision to provide a platform for LGBTQI+ people and their allies to share stories, connect and express themselves. We’ve provided funding to individuals, community groups and not-for-profits through the Mardi Gras Community Grants Program to help organisations deliver their messages and dazzle during the parade. These organisations have advocated across a range of issues – from sport to health and the creative arts. 

Among our grantees this year are Haka for Life and Corroboree for Life, two Perth-based suicide prevention organisations with a mission is to empower people to connect with culture through traditional Aboriginal dance and the Māori Haka. 



This year, Haka for Life and Corroboree for Life paraded traditional costumes and powerfully performed Corroborees and the Haka across the Sydney Cricket Ground. 




We’re delighted to award grants to many other LGBTQI+ focused organisations, representing trans, regional and indigenous communities (and more).  This includes: 

ANTRA (澳纽彩盟) - Australia & New Zealand Tongzhi Rainbow Alliance is a NSW registered community organisation advocating for the rights, livelihood and welfare of Australia and New Zealand’s Mandarin & Cantonese speaking LGBTQIA+ communities. 

Autism Spectrum Australia - A not-for-profit working in partnership with people on the autism spectrum to understand, engage and celebrate the strengths and interests of people on the autism spectrum, including the Autistic LGBTQIA+ community, as the Neurodiversity Rainbow. 

Point Clare Families - A grassroots community group from the Central Coast representing same sex parented, opposite sex parented and single parent families. They celebrate diverse families and safe spaces for youth and families to explore their identities. Their group includes participants living with disability.

TRANS GLAMORE - A night held monthly in celebration of transgender performers & friends. 

We are proud to support even more organisations with grants this year including; The Bobby Goldsmith Foundation (BGF), The Colours of Our Community, Different Strokes, Dayenu-Sydney’s Jewish LGBTQ+ Group, Emerald City Kickball, Entry #2, Girl Guides, The Institute of Many, The Oz Fag Hags, The Pinnacle Foundation, Raio de Sol, The Sydney Gay & Lesbian Business Association, Sydney Silverbacks Wrestling Club, Trikone Australia and Queer Zumba. 

While we had to navigate new rules and restrictions this year, Mardi Gras 2021 was no half measure. The spirit was high, the festivities were fabulous – and the community showed they are ready to RISE and shine. I’m already reliving the memories listening to the YouTube Mardi Gras playlist

Posted by Jes Kane, Social Impact Manager, Google Australia and New Zealand

From the seas, to more ZZZs: Your new Pixel features

The best part of your Pixel is that it keeps getting even more helpful, and even more unique. With regular updates, Pixels get smarter, more capable and more fun. This latest drop is no exception, and for Pixel 3 and newer devices, includes the ability to easily access and share audio recordings, a new way to use the Pixel Camera app underwater and new wallpapers to celebrate International Women's Day. 

A more shareable Recorder 
Whether it’s that guitar riff you've been working on or reviewing transcripts from a class lecture, Recorder makes it easy for Pixel owners to easily record, transcribe (English only) and search the audio moments that matter to you. Now you can share links to your Recorder audio files, so anyone can listen, even if they don’t have a Pixel. At recorder.google.com, you can hear recordings, see transcripts and even search through files — you get the entire Recorder playback experience in one shareable link. 
You can also back up recordings to your Google Account to help keep them safe, and easily access them from any device. See more at g.co/pixel/recorder

Capture the seas with Kraken Sports 
Now Pixel users can capture the same kinds of high quality images they’re accustomed to above water, and do it underwater without the cumbersome cameras and cases scuba drivers have traditionally used. Pixel camera software engineer, José Ricardo Lima, was scuba diving with his husband in the Philippines when he wondered what it would be like to use his Pixel camera underwater. His idea was to create a custom integration that combined Pixel’s camera with a case made for diving. Now, divers will be able to use their Pixel camera with the Kraken Sports’ Universal Smart Phone Housing to capture marine life and seascapes. Get access to your Pixel’s camera features, including Night Sight, Portrait Mode, Motion Photos and video directly through Pixel’s Camera app for high-quality images of you and your underwater friends. See g.co/pixel/diveconnector for more information. 
Photo captured on Pixel 5 using KRH03 Kraken Sports Universal Smart Housing. Kraken Sports is a registered trademark of Kraken Sports Ontario, Canada. 

Attention-grabbing graphics 
Part of Pixel’s latest drop also includes new wallpapers that celebrate different cultural moments throughout the year with artwork from artists around the world. And for International Women’s Day on March 8, Pixel will add new wallpapers illustrated by Spanish duo Cachetejack, which focus on the strength and transformation of women. 
Adapting to you and your routine 
Your Pixel can help you catch more ZZZs with a more seamless bedtime schedule on your Pixel Stand. When you use the bedtime features in Clock with your Pixel Stand, you’ll see a new, updated bedtime screen, along with redesigned notifications to help you ease into sleep. This feature is available on Pixel phones with wireless charging capability: Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL and Pixel 5. Pixel Stand is sold separately. 
For more information on the new features that just dropped and to see phone compatibility, head to http://g.co/pixel/updates. And if you’re looking for more helpfulness across your device, check out all of the latest updates announced from Android

Pixel 5G devices can now access 5G in dual SIM mode 
Software updates also mean that Pixel 4a with 5G and Pixel 5 devices will now be able to access 5G even when in dual SIM mode (eSIM+physical SIM DSDS).


And as a bonus, we recently announced a new Google Fit feature that allows you to measure your heart rate and respiratory rate using just your phone’s camera. This feature will roll out to Pixel owners next week (and is not intended for medical purposes). 



1. Works with Pixel 2 or newer phones. Requires Android R, Camera Update 8.1 (Nov. 2020), Dive Case Connector app for Google Camera, KRH04 or KRH03 Kraken Sports Universal Smart Phone Housing (sold separately). See g.co/pixel/dive-case-connector-setup for more information on setup. Google is not responsible for the operation of Kraken Sports products or their compliance with any applicable safety or other requirements. Photo captured on Pixel 5 using KRH03 Kraken Sports Universal Smart Phone Housing. Kraken Sports is a registered trademark of Kraken Sports Ontario, Canada. 
2. Transcription is available in English only. Recorder sharing requires an Internet connection and a Google Account. 
3. Cloud storage requires an Internet connection and a Google Account. 
4. Your Pixel will receive feature drops during the applicable Android update and support periods for the phone. See g.co/pixel/updates for details.
5. Requires a 5G data plan (sold separately). 5G service not available on all carrier networks or in all areas. Contact carrier for details. 5G service, speed and performance depend on many factors including, but not limited to, carrier network capabilities, device configuration and capabilities, network traffic, location, signal strength and signal obstruction. Actual results may vary. Some features are not available in all areas. Data rates may apply. See g.co/pixel/networkinfo for info. 
 


A new choice for parents of tweens and teens on YouTube

“We’ve worked closely with YouTube on the complexities of redesigning their global platform to help ensure that the content children consume is diverse, high quality and age-appropriate. Getting this right is challenging – and requires ongoing discussions with global experts. A global platform will always need to keep innovating in response to emerging challenges, so it’s great to see that YouTube has processes in place to ensure that top notch expertise can guide its evolution.” - Prof Amanda Third, Young and Resilient Research Center Western Sydney University




This generation of tweens and teens has grown up online, and it’s where they go to learn, laugh, and connect. Every family has a different approach to how they use technology, access the internet and set digital ground rules. Over the years, we’ve made investments to protect families and kids on YouTube, such as launching a dedicated kids app, better protecting their privacy, restricting features and improving age restrictions. Today, we are announcing a new choice for parents who have decided their tweens and teens are ready to explore YouTube with a supervised account. 


Supervised experiences on YouTube 
From our earliest days, YouTube has been a platform for people over 13, and we’ve always recommended that parents co-watch with their kids if they choose to watch YouTube. In 2015, we created YouTube Kids, a safer destination for kids to explore their interests while providing parental controls. But since then, we’ve heard from parents and older children that tweens and teens have different needs, which weren’t being fully met by our products. As children grow up, they have insatiable curiosity and need to gain independence and find new ways to learn, create, and belong. 
Over the last year, we've worked with parents and experts across the globe in areas related to child safety, child development, and digital literacy to develop a solution for parents of tweens and teens. In the coming months, we’ll launch a new experience in beta for parents to allow their children to access YouTube through a supervised Google Account. This supervised experience will come with content settings and limited features. We’ll start with an early beta for families with kids under the age of consent to test and provide feedback, as we continue to expand and improve the experience. 


Giving parents content options on YouTube 
We know that every parent has a different parenting style and that every child is unique and reaches different developmental stages at different times. That’s why we’ll give parents the ability to choose from 3 different content settings on YouTube. 
  • Explore: For children ready to move on from YouTube Kids and explore content on YouTube, this setting will feature a broad range of videos generally suitable for viewers ages 9+, including vlogs, tutorials, gaming videos, music clips, news, educational content and more. 
  • Explore More: With content generally suitable for viewers ages 13+, this setting will include an even larger set of videos, and also live streams in the same categories as “Explore.” 
  • Most of YouTube: This setting will contain almost all videos on YouTube, except for age-restricted content, and it includes sensitive topics that may only be appropriate for older teens. 

This option was designed for parents who think their children are ready to explore the vast universe of YouTube videos. We will use a mix of user input, machine learning and human review to determine which videos are included. We know that our systems will make mistakes and will continue to evolve over time. 
We recommend parents continue to be involved in guiding and supporting their child’s experience on YouTube. To help parents get started, we’ve developed a guide in partnership with National PTA, Parent Zone and Be Internet Awesome. We’ll also launch an ongoing campaign that features creators discussing themes like bullying and harassment, misinformation, digital well-being and more. 


New features for families 
We understand the importance of striking a balance between empowering tweens and teens to more safely gain independence, while offering parents ways to set controls. In addition to choosing the content setting, parents will be able to manage watch and search history from within their child's account settings. Parents can also use other controls offered by Google’s Family Link, including screen timers. We’ll continue adding new parental controls over time, such as blocking content. 
When a parent grants access to YouTube, their child’s experience will feel much like regular YouTube, but certain features will be disabled to protect younger audiences. For example, we won't serve personalised ads or ads in certain categories. At launch, we'll also disable in-app purchases, as well as creation and comments features. Since self-expression and community are integral parts of YouTube and children's development, over time we'll work with parents and experts to add some of these features through an age-appropriate and parent controlled approach. 


Investing in YouTube Kids 
We’re building this new supervised experience for parents who think their older kids are ready to use YouTube, but we still recommend YouTube Kids for younger kids to watch independently and have a more contained viewing experience. 
With availability in over 80 countries, now over 35 million viewers use YouTube Kids every week. We’ll continue expanding product availability, adding new features, and offering several new parental tools, such as a highly-requested option for parents to select specific videos and channels from the main YouTube platform that they’d like their child to explore on YouTube Kids. 
We know that we have a long journey ahead of us as we design this experience for parents of tweens and teens. Over the long term, we hope this will provide a safer environment for older children to explore their interests, learn new skills, connect with communities that share their passions, while giving parents more ways to support their kids' online experience. 


Wear a mask, wash your hands, don’t reuse your password!

Parenting was especially challenging in 2020. Our families needed to learn new habits like social distancing, wearing masks and frequently washing our hands. As a large part of our everyday lives moved online, it was necessary to teach our children to take extra precautions as well. 
Parents have always been concerned for the digital safety of their families, and with online learning becoming the main mode of school for many, this might be even more of a concern. So we worked with our Trust and Safety Research team to survey parents all over Asia-Pacific, including here in Australia, and found that parents with children attending school online were more concerned about online safety than those whose children attended school in-person. 
As we moved to home working and learning, and children continued their education through digital means, 47% of Aussie parents expressed increased concern about online safety for their children. But interestingly, more than a third of parents interviewed said they had never spoken to their children about online safety, and only half of those interviewed said they were currently using online family safety features. 
As kids of different ages use the internet in very different ways, instilling safe habits can be a challenge. So today, on Safer Internet Day, here are some tips to address the top three parental concerns when it comes to keeping our children safe online. 

1. Protect their digital identities. 
The privacy and security of their children’s information was the top concern of parents we surveyed across all regions. Parents cited concerns around scams or hacking of their child’s accounts. Here are some simple ways to safeguard your kids’ information: 
  • Teach your children how to choose strong passwords that cannot be easily guessed. Avoid simple passwords that use names, birthdates, or even favourite cartoon characters. 
  •  It is also useful to stick to platforms that have a strong reputation for user safety. For instance, using an email service like Gmail comes with built-in safety filters to detect phishing emails, blocking 99.9% of phishing attacks from ever reaching your inbox. 

2. Know who they talk to.
 
Social isolation is a difficult outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic, and our children connect with their friends online, whether through messaging apps or voice chat while playing games. It is important for parents to be aware that these channels can also be used by ill-intentioned strangers to reach out to our children. Just as in real life, it is important to be aware of who our children talk to online. 
  • Try to talk to your kids about the games they play or the videos they watch, and also the people they play with online. I always remind my son to come to me immediately if he faces any situation online that makes him feel uncomfortable. More than 70% of parents in Asia-Pacific were not very confident that their children would come to them if they encountered unsafe situations online. Considering more than a third of the parents we interviewed had never spoken to their children about online safety we need to work hard to reassure our children that we are here to guide and protect them. 
  • When assessing if a game is suitable for your child, it is important to check not only the content of the game, but also whether the app allows online communications with others. Some multiplayer games allow only a few options for social interaction, like a thumbs up rather than a text chat. This reduces risks of unwanted social interactions by quite a lot. 

3. Offer appropriate content at the appropriate age. 
The fear of children encountering inappropriate content has long been among the top concerns of parents in surveys. There are family safety features that parents can use to help guard their children from content that may not be suitable for their age. However, we learned that only 50% of Aussie parents we surveyed are using these features. Here are some features that you can start using today: 
  • Turning on SafeSearch on Google helps filter out explicit content in Google’s search results for all searches, including images, videos and websites. SafeSearch is designed to help block explicit results like pornography from Google search results. 
  • Manage your child’s device by creating a Google account for your child and using Family Link. This allows you to add filters on Google Search, block websites or only give access to the ones you allow or track the location of your child if they have their own device. 
  • Many parental controls are available on YouTube Kids. You are able to limit screen time, only show videos that you approve or select suitable content based on the age of your child. 
Some other time-tested tips include allowing children to use the internet only in common areas in the home such as the living room. But the tough part is leading by example! 

At the end of the day, the core of parenting lies in the relationships we build with our children. They require our guidance on the internet as much as they do in the real world. 
Let’s work together to make the internet a safe place for our children to learn, create and explore. 

Marvel at Maria Island with today’s Google Doodle

January 26 stirs a full spectrum of emotions for Australians across the country. It can be a day of pride or protest. A day to rejoice, reflect or reexamine our history. Or for some, perhaps it’s just any old Tuesday.

Whatever the tone of the day, Australians are bound by a love for our land, the seas that surround us and our extraordinary wildlife. Now more than ever, we’ve been prompted to treasure our natural wonders – as this time last year, our heroic firefighters battled Australia’s worst raging bushfires in modern history. 


So, as we honour the many marvels of our island home today, we’re taking a virtual trip to a spectacular island just off Tassie, Maria Island. 

Maria island is home to a unique collection of mammal, marine, and avian species – and has been categorised as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International. This includes one of Australia’s rarest birds and the star of today’s Google Doodle, the forty-spotted pardalote. This precious bird is about 9-10 cm long, with a light olive green body and distinctive white dots. It is depicted nestled in its natural habitat, the dry eucalypt forest where white gum (Eucalyptus viminalis) occurs. The tiny pardalote is the first Australian bird known to forage a sugary sap called manna by snipping the leaf stalks of gum trees. Maria Island supports the highest breeding population of forty-spotted pardalotes in Tasmania, which plays an important role in maintaining the forest’s vitality and managing insect pest populations. 

Whether you’re in Tassie or Townsville, we invite you to explore Maria Island on Street View and get inspired for your next trip. You can discover ancient clams, sea fans, corals of the Fossil Cliffs walk – and the vibrant colours and swirling patterns of the Painted Cliffs walk

Today’s Google Doodle was developed in collaboration with Tasmanian Aboriginal community and Elders. We respectfully acknowledge the Tasmanian Aboriginal communities and Elders past and present.


Supporting quality reporting and information on vaccines



This is a guest blog post from Dr Susannah Eliott, CEO of the Australian Science Media Centre (AusSMC), which works to enhance the media's coverage of science, for the benefit of the public
.


The enormous impact of this pandemic has meant that scientists and pharmaceutical companies have had to go into overdrive to produce vaccines in record time. And with so many vaccines in various stages of development, it’s not surprising when journalists and the public find it difficult to get answers to critical questions.


Questions like what is herd immunity and how long will it take to achieve? Will the vaccines prevent infection as well as disease? And what is an mRNA vaccine and how is it different to traditional types of vaccines?


Answers to these questions, and access to clear and reliable information, has never been more important. And today we’re excited to announce a new initiative that aims to address this issue and equip journalists with solid information about COVID-19 vaccines as they are being developed and rolled out.


Journalists and fact checkers across the world will soon have access to our new COVID-19 Vaccine Media Hub, a dedicated support service, to help them report on COVID-19 vaccines thanks to a global alliance of Science Media Centres (SMCs) and public health experts supported by a $1 million investment from the Google News Initiative.


This new media hub will bring together expert commentary, explainers and multiple sources of information from evidence-based sources on vaccines. And it will make information available in at least seven different languages to help journalists across the world to report on COVID-19 vaccines - and the science behind them.


As Alexios Mantzarlis, News and Information Credibility Lead at Google News Lab puts it: “Fighting misinformation about this topic will require both targeting harmful hoaxes directly and supporting the crucial work of science beat reporters and fact-checkers informing the public. It is with this in mind that we are thrilled to support the creation of a COVID-19 vaccine media hub to help journalists access expertise rapidly and reliably.”


The Australian Science Media Centre (AusSMC) will lead the initiative together with Meedan, a technology not-for-profit, and in collaboration with SMCs and other organisations across Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa, and North America.


Science Media Centres are independent not-for-profit organisations that exist to help journalists report on the science behind daily news, whether that’s a pandemic, a natural disaster or a new scientific discovery. Although SMCs are independent of each other and work with journalists on local issues, they also collaborate on global topics and are aligned through a Charter of Independence.


This initiative represents the first time that the SMC network has been supported to work proactively on a specific globally important topic together with organisations like Meedan. We hope that this alliance will grow and continue to provide evidence-based information on a whole range of topics into the future.


Nat Gyenes, Director of Meedan’s Digital Health Lab has the last word – “recognising the threat of misinformation has become an additional vector for the spread of infectious diseases [and] we see a networked approach to addressing information equity challenges as a critical public health need… We are honored to work with the Science Media Centre of Australia and their partner Science Media Centres on this critical initiative.”


We look forward to the impact this important resource will have for journalists, providing around-the-clock access to scientific expertise and research updates.


For more information, please visit the Australian Science Media Centre and you can read more about the Google News Initiative’s work here.

Year in Search 2020: Here’s what Aussies searched for this year

From fires to facemasks and sourdough, this year’s top trending searches show our wide spectrum of curiosities, worries and cravings. 

2020 has been a year like no other, marked by blazing bushfires, a global pandemic – and cravings for comfort food. We sought definitions, made sense of restrictions and looked to help people in need. We were stood down from jobs, stood up for Black Lives Matter and stood behind Quaden Bayles. We hunted for hand sanitiser, stocked up on toilet paper and donated bales of hay. And looking abroad, we followed the US election, the Beirut explosion and said goodbye to some greats.

As the year draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on the moments that made Aussies wonder, question and rally together. Here's a snapshot of five themes showing what caught Aussies' attention in Search in 2020:  

Health, safety and livelihood 

2020 began with smokey skies as Australia battled raging bushfires – prompting us to search for ‘fires near me’ and check the air quality. Not long after, COVID-19 rattled the world, steering our searches towards safeguards and lockdown kits. We were on a mission for hand sanitiser, face masks, antibacterial wipes and isopropyl alcohol. We asked how to get tested for coronavirus, how far we could travel and if we could go fishing. And as jobs were stood down or lost, we looked to apply for Centrelink and JobKeeper. 


A new language for our new normal 

We may have been lost for words this year, but it turns out we found some new ones too. Search shows we were looking to understand medical, scientific and political terminology – as we looked up the definitions of COVID, pandemic, lockdown and stimulus package. As people joined and watched the Black Lives Matter protests, we wanted to know what BIPOC stood for. And as “Karen” memes filled feeds, Aussies wanted to get across this new slang term. 

Buying and DIYing 

The top trending DIY queries show that Aussies were crafty, resourceful and ambitious in 2020. As protective and sanitary products flew off the shelves, we wanted to to know how to make hand sanitiser, face masks, toilet paper – and even ventilators. We were also inspired to treat ourselves to some much needed self-care, searching to buy neck hammocks, dumbbells and looking for DIY foot scrubs. 

Savoury, sweet and sanitary (!) recipes 

Food was a big feature of 2020, with many of us cooking up storms and eating at home more than ever before. Curiously, for the first time, a non-edible item has topped the list of top trending recipes: hand sanitiser. On a yummier note, baked goods were a stand out this year. Sourdough topped the list of (edible) recipes and we also kneaded donuts, crumpets, macarons, Anzac cookies and banana bread. Moving on to heartier, main meals, good ol’ spag bol and Beef Stroganoff also featured on the menu of top trending recipes. And finally, for a caffeine hit, we jumped on the Dalgona coffee bandwagon. 

Rising up and reaching out 

While 2020 brought many hurdles, our searches show that Aussies were looking for ways to help each other through the hardship. As many Aussies struggled in drought and fire bush affected areas, we looked to “buy from the bush,” “buy Aussie now” and “buy a bale.” And when Quaden Bayles shared his heartbreaking story as a victim of bullying, we stood behind him – making Quaden the top trending kid on Search in Australia in 2020. 

To dive into Australia's lists, check out the full trending lists for 2020: 

Overall Searches: 
1. US election 
2. Coronavirus 
3. NBA 
4. Zoom 
5. Coronavirus symptoms 
6. Kobe Bryant 
7. Weather tomorrow 
8. Fires near me 
9. Coronavirus Victoria 
10, Trump vs Biden 

News topics: 
1. US election 
2. Coronavirus 
3. Fires near me 
4. Coronavirus Victoria 
5. Toilet paper 
6. NSW fires 
7. Qantas share price 
8. Air quality Melbourne 
9. Beirut explosion 
10. NSW coronavirus 

Australian public figures: 
1. Dani Laidley 
2. Celeste Barber 
3. Gladys Berejiklian 
4. George Pell 
5.Quaden Bayles 
6. Pete Evans 
7. Nicola Gobbo 
8. Peter Dutton 
9. Richard Pusey 
10. Ben Cousins 

Global public figures: 
1. Joe Biden 
2. Kim Jong Un 
3. Boris Johnson 
4. Kamala Harris 
5. Tom Hanks 
6. Kanye West 
7. Joe Exotic 
8. Donald Trump 
9. Prince Harry 
10. Carole Baskin 

Loss: 
1. Kobe Bryant 
2. Naya Rivera 
3. Chadwick Boseman 
4. George Floyd 
5. Sean Connery 
6. Caroline Flack 
7. Kelly Preston 
8. Kenny Rogers 
9. Sushant Singh Rajput 
10. Shane Tuck 

Sport: 
1. NBA 
2. EPL 
3. State of Origin 2020 
4. Champions League 
5. IPL 
6. French Open 
7. ATP Cup 
8. Australia vs New Zealand 
9. Tennis Australian Open 
10. AFL scores

Recipe 
1. Hand sanitizer 
2. Sourdough bread 
3. Beef Stroganoff 
4. Spaghetti bolognese 
5. Donut 
6. Crumpet 
7. Macaron 
8. Anzac cookie 
9. Banana bread 
10. Dalgona coffee 

How to….? 
1. How to make hand sanitizer 
2. How to make a face mask 
3. How to use Zoom 
4. How to get tested for coronavirus 
5. How to make bread 
6. How to make self raising flour 
7. How to apply for Centrelink 
8. How to buy shares 
9. How to apply for JobKeeper 
10. How to make whipped coffee 

DIY
1. DIY hand sanitiser 
2. DIY face mask pattern
3. DIY neck hammock 
4. DIY ventilator 
4. DIY foot scrub 
5. DIY fire pit area 
6. DIY toilet paper
7. DIY pottery kit 
8. DIY antibacterial wipes
9. DIY scrunchie holder 

Definitions 
1. COVID 
2. Pandemic 
3. Branch stacking 
4. Stimulus package 
5. Stand down 
6. Portmanteau 
7. BIPOC 
8. Barre 
9. Lockdown 
10. Karen 

Goods and giving
1. Where to buy face masks 
2. Buy toilet paper online 
3. Buy from the bush 
4. Buy Ps5 
5. Buy Aussie now 
6. Where to buy hand sanitizer 
7. Buy isopropyl alcohol 
8. Buy a bale 
9. Buy Xbox Series X 
10. Buy dumbbells 

‘Can I….?’ 
1.Where can I buy toilet paper 
2. Where can I buy hand sanitiser 
3. Where can I get tested for coronavirus 
4. Can I access my super 
5. How many people can I have in my house 
6. When can I access my super 
7. Can I go fishing in NSW 
8. How much can I borrow home loan 
9. How far can I travel in QLD 
10. Can I leave Australia 

Year in Search 2020: Here’s what Aussies searched for this year

From fires to facemasks and sourdough, this year’s top trending searches show our wide spectrum of curiosities, worries and cravings. 

2020 has been a year like no other, marked by blazing bushfires, a global pandemic – and cravings for comfort food. We sought definitions, made sense of restrictions and looked to help people in need. We were stood down from jobs, stood up for Black Lives Matter and stood behind Quaden Bayles. We hunted for hand sanitiser, stocked up on toilet paper and donated bales of hay. And looking abroad, we followed the US election, the Beirut explosion and said goodbye to some greats.

As the year draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on the moments that made Aussies wonder, question and rally together. Here's a snapshot of five themes showing what caught Aussies' attention in Search in 2020:  

Health, safety and livelihood 

2020 began with smokey skies as Australia battled raging bushfires – prompting us to search for ‘fires near me’ and check the air quality. Not long after, COVID-19 rattled the world, steering our searches towards safeguards and lockdown kits. We were on a mission for hand sanitiser, face masks, antibacterial wipes and isopropyl alcohol. We asked how to get tested for coronavirus, how far we could travel and if we could go fishing. And as jobs were stood down or lost, we looked to apply for Centrelink and JobKeeper. 


A new language for our new normal 

We may have been lost for words this year, but it turns out we found some new ones too. Search shows we were looking to understand medical, scientific and political terminology – as we looked up the definitions of COVID, pandemic, lockdown and stimulus package. As people joined and watched the Black Lives Matter protests, we wanted to know what BIPOC stood for. And as “Karen” memes filled feeds, Aussies wanted to get across this new slang term. 

Buying and DIYing 

The top trending DIY queries show that Aussies were crafty, resourceful and ambitious in 2020. As protective and sanitary products flew off the shelves, we wanted to to know how to make hand sanitiser, face masks, toilet paper – and even ventilators. We were also inspired to treat ourselves to some much needed self-care, searching to buy neck hammocks, dumbbells and looking for DIY foot scrubs. 

Savoury, sweet and sanitary (!) recipes 

Food was a big feature of 2020, with many of us cooking up storms and eating at home more than ever before. Curiously, for the first time, a non-edible item has topped the list of top trending recipes: hand sanitiser. On a yummier note, baked goods were a stand out this year. Sourdough topped the list of (edible) recipes and we also kneaded donuts, crumpets, macarons, Anzac cookies and banana bread. Moving on to heartier, main meals, good ol’ spag bol and Beef Stroganoff also featured on the menu of top trending recipes. And finally, for a caffeine hit, we jumped on the Dalgona coffee bandwagon. 

Rising up and reaching out 

While 2020 brought many hurdles, our searches show that Aussies were looking for ways to help each other through the hardship. As many Aussies struggled in drought and fire bush affected areas, we looked to “buy from the bush,” “buy Aussie now” and “buy a bale.” And when Quaden Bayles shared his heartbreaking story as a victim of bullying, we stood behind him – making Quaden the top trending kid on Search in Australia in 2020. 

To dive into Australia's lists, check out the full trending lists for 2020: 

Overall Searches: 
1. US election 
2. Coronavirus 
3. NBA 
4. Zoom 
5. Coronavirus symptoms 
6. Kobe Bryant 
7. Weather tomorrow 
8. Fires near me 
9. Coronavirus Victoria 
10, Trump vs Biden 

News topics: 
1. US election 
2. Coronavirus 
3. Fires near me 
4. Coronavirus Victoria 
5. Toilet paper 
6. NSW fires 
7. Qantas share price 
8. Air quality Melbourne 
9. Beirut explosion 
10. NSW coronavirus 

Australian public figures: 
1. Dani Laidley 
2. Celeste Barber 
3. Gladys Berejiklian 
4. George Pell 
5.Quaden Bayles 
6. Pete Evans 
7. Nicola Gobbo 
8. Peter Dutton 
9. Richard Pusey 
10. Ben Cousins 

Global public figures: 
1. Joe Biden 
2. Kim Jong Un 
3. Boris Johnson 
4. Kamala Harris 
5. Tom Hanks 
6. Kanye West 
7. Joe Exotic 
8. Donald Trump 
9. Prince Harry 
10. Carole Baskin 

Loss: 
1. Kobe Bryant 
2. Naya Rivera 
3. Chadwick Boseman 
4. George Floyd 
5. Sean Connery 
6. Caroline Flack 
7. Kelly Preston 
8. Kenny Rogers 
9. Sushant Singh Rajput 
10. Shane Tuck 

Sport: 
1. NBA 
2. EPL 
3. State of Origin 2020 
4. Champions League 
5. IPL 
6. French Open 
7. ATP Cup 
8. Australia vs New Zealand 
9. Tennis Australian Open 
10. AFL scores

Recipe 
1. Hand sanitizer 
2. Sourdough bread 
3. Beef Stroganoff 
4. Spaghetti bolognese 
5. Donut 
6. Crumpet 
7. Macaron 
8. Anzac cookie 
9. Banana bread 
10. Dalgona coffee 

How to….? 
1. How to make hand sanitizer 
2. How to make a face mask 
3. How to use Zoom 
4. How to get tested for coronavirus 
5. How to make bread 
6. How to make self raising flour 
7. How to apply for Centrelink 
8. How to buy shares 
9. How to apply for JobKeeper 
10. How to make whipped coffee 

DIY
1. DIY hand sanitiser 
2. DIY face mask pattern
3. DIY neck hammock 
4. DIY ventilator 
4. DIY foot scrub 
5. DIY fire pit area 
6. DIY toilet paper
7. DIY pottery kit 
8. DIY antibacterial wipes
9. DIY scrunchie holder 

Definitions 
1. COVID 
2. Pandemic 
3. Branch stacking 
4. Stimulus package 
5. Stand down 
6. Portmanteau 
7. BIPOC 
8. Barre 
9. Lockdown 
10. Karen 

Goods and giving
1. Where to buy face masks 
2. Buy toilet paper online 
3. Buy from the bush 
4. Buy Ps5 
5. Buy Aussie now 
6. Where to buy hand sanitizer 
7. Buy isopropyl alcohol 
8. Buy a bale 
9. Buy Xbox Series X 
10. Buy dumbbells 

‘Can I….?’ 
1.Where can I buy toilet paper 
2. Where can I buy hand sanitiser 
3. Where can I get tested for coronavirus 
4. Can I access my super 
5. How many people can I have in my house 
6. When can I access my super 
7. Can I go fishing in NSW 
8. How much can I borrow home loan 
9. How far can I travel in QLD 
10. Can I leave Australia