Tag Archives: Search Trends

"How do I make sense of this?" – Year in Search 2020

December is always a special time. As we prepare to turn the page on the year gone by, it offers a great vantage point, for individuals, communities, countries, to look back and reflect -- to make sense of what we felt and did, the decisions we took, the changes we ushered in. And to us at Google, there is no better reflection of this than the questions that were asked the most in the year. 

But in a year unlike any other in living memory, a year that is, in many ways, a question in its own right, our queries become more than just cultural fascination. Each question we asked in 2020 was our attempt to steady ourselves as the ground beneath us shifted. 

This year, when people turned to Search, we realised they were counting on us to provide something they urgently needed -- a sense of knowledge, of certainty, of trust, more than any other time in our history. It’s a responsibility we took very seriously, as we worked with health authorities, medical experts and governments around the world, to bring people information that was reliable and of the minute, to provide handrails of certainty as the known world bucked and shifted. 

The top 10 overall list of trending search terms this year clearly reflected the global concern around the pandemic, with a natural surge in queries about Coronavirus. But interestingly, our fascination with cricket remained unchallenged as the Indian Premier League came out tops, trumping even the US elections. The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM Kisan Scheme) that extended monetary support to farmers also featured among the top searches. While netizens took a significant interest in the Bihar and Delhi elections, there was also a clear interest in understanding the shifting world-scape with searches on US President-elect Joe Biden emerging as one of the top trending personalities, along with TV journalist Arnab Goswami. On the entertainment front, late actor Sushant Singh Rajput's final cinematic outing Dil Bechara was the only movie this year to make it to the top 10 trending list.

In a year where most large-budget anticipated films released directly on digital media, the year saw mixed interest across movie genres, including action, drama, comedy and romance. Dil Bechara which also featured in the overall list, snagged the top spot for movies, followed by the Tamil action-drama Soorarai Pottru. Bollywood biopics like Tanhaji, Shakuntala Devi and Gunjan Saxena also made it to the list. Interestingly, Indian movies dominated the list, where the only international Hollywood movie to make it here was  Extraction.

Predictably, queries on web series surged during this year of lockdowns, with Money Heist topping this chart, followed by Indian entries like Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story, Bigg Boss 14, Mirzapur 2, and others.

US Presidential elections winner Joe Biden was the most searched personality this year, followed by TV journalist Arnab Goswami and Bollywood singer Kanika Kapoor. Others on the list included Rhea Chakraborty, Ankita Lokhande, Kangana Ranaut and others.

Indian Premier League, Coronavirus, and the US Presidential Elections dominated the general news queries, and rounding up the list was a mix of both local and global news moments such as the nationwide lockdowns, the Beirut explosion, bushfires in Australia, and locust swarms.

‘How to’ searches billowed this year with queries that reflected the global shift to working from home and dealing with the pandemic: ‘How to make paneer?’ and ‘How to increase immunity?’ made the top of the list, followed by the all-important ‘How to make dalgona coffee’. ‘What is’ queries included the now-iconic ‘What is binod?’, followed by many virus-related queries such as ‘What is plasma therapy?’, and ‘What is hantavirus?’. 

Following the unprecedented lockdown, local searches surged with 'Near me' queries. The top query was ‘Food shelters near me’ followed by ‘COVID test near me’. And pointing again to the trend of working from home, searches for ‘Broadband connection near me’ and ‘Laptop shop near me’ figured prominently this year.

View the complete 2020 India-specific lists and global trends in detail; and check out all the global top-ten lists across pop culture, sports, music, politics, news, from over 75 countries.

From top dresses to Leo’s big win, Google Trends from the Oscars

As millions of people tuned in to watch the 88th Academy Awards, many also turned to the web to keep up with the action. In fact, Canada was the number one country searching for the Oscars worldwide, followed by the United States and Chile.

We took a look at search interest in across the night’s biggest moments. The award for “most-searched”goes to Leonardo DiCaprio whose acceptance speech for Best Actor was the most-searched moment of the night and most searched speech following the ceremony.
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The 88th Academy Awards also featured several performances showcasing the nominees for Best Original Song. While Sam Smith took home the Oscar for "Writing's on the Wall" from Spectre, Lady Gaga’s performance for "Til It Happens to You" from The Hunting Ground was the most-searched in Canada. 

And despite not winning a statue, global search interest for Canada's The Weeknd increased by 488% following his performance.
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The red carpet is many people's favorite part of the show and we wanted to know which gowns caught people's attention. Afterall, Canadians tend to search for the looks they love, more than the looks that fell flat -- “best dressed” is searched 91% more on Google than “worst dressed” in Canada.

The results are in, and this year’s fashion winners are...
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Congratulations to all the winners - both online and offline! For the latest Canadian Google Trends, check back here weekly or follow along.

Posted by Jenn Kaiser, Communications Manager, Google Canada

And the (search) envelope goes to…

Time to brush up on your movie trivia -- it’s almost Oscar night! Out of the major entertainment awards shows, the Oscars are the most popular in Canada in terms of search volume, and as we discovered in previously patterns in search behavior can help us predict which stars will go home with shiny gold statues.

Best Picture
Want help with your Oscar pool? There’s no telling which film will win, but over the past year, the title of top film in Search is The Revenant.
Best Actor and Best Actress
All of the Best Actor and Best Actress Nominees have all shown an upward trend in search volume since nominations were announced. When you compare search query volumes for this year’s nominees over the past year, Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant) and Jennifer Lawrence (Joy) appear to be Canada’s favourites to win their categories.
Best Supporting Actor and Actress
Among this year’s nominees, Kate Winslet saw a huge surge in search volume in January following her nomination. But it is Canada’s sweetheart Rachel McAdams (Spotlight) is the most popular—searches for Rachel in the last 12 months outpace any of the other leading ladies. In the Best Supporting Actor category, Tom Hardy leads in search popularity in Canada, for his role in The Revenant.
Of course, we don’t have a Magic 8-Ball or access to the names in those top-secret envelopes, so our predictions are just that -- but it’s always enjoyable to look at how what people are interested in online plays out in the real world.

Stay up to date on what’s trending on Google in Canada, as we release real-time trends before, during and after this year’s awards ceremony!

Posted by Jenn Kaiser, Communications Manager, Google Canada

Tributes and Trends: the 58th Annual Grammy Awards through the lens of Search

As millions of people tuned in to watch the 58th Annual Grammy Awards, many Canadians also turned to the web to keep up with the action. Here's a look at the Grammy nominees and moments that captured Canada’s imagination and brought people to Google Search.

Artists in the spotlight
This year’s most searched performance was Broadway musical Hamilton, as Canadians turned online during the cast’s live performance to learn more about the show, the cast and tickets. In fact, searches for Hamilton tickets increased 9X following the performance and 50X following their win for Best Musical Theatre Album.

Sam Hunt and Carrie Underwood’s duet early in the evening was a search favourite, while the Eagles’ tribute to Glenn Frey was also at the front of the search pack. Canadians went to Google to learn more about the band following their performance, many asking “Who are the Eagles?

Lady Gaga’s tribute to David Bowie was also a top-searched performance, with Gaga roaring through nine of Bowie’s best-known songs in six minutes. During the performance, Canadians searched for the lyrics to many of the favourite hits being performed on stage, but searches were highest for ‘Heroes.’

Here's a look at the nominees and moments that captured Canada’s imagination and brought people to Google Search.
The most searched red carpet looks
The red carpet is many people's favorite part of the show. While no Grammy is awarded for "best dressed," we wanted to know which looks caught Canadians attention this year. The results are in and the most searched styles, in the hour after the red carpet show were:
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Trending questions and artists we’re curious about
Canadians also turned to Google to ask questions throughout the Grammy Awards. One of the night’s biggest moments came from an artist that wasn’t even present -- searches for ‘where is Rihanna?’ were trending in Canada, after RiRi dropped out of performing and attending over the weekend. We also saw searches for “Who is…” spike in the Best New Artist category, particularly for country musician Sam Hunt and Tori Kelly, the 23-year-old California pop singer who her start on YouTube.
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Search Predictions
Before the ceremony started, we shared our “picks”- who would win if the Grammys were determined by search volume in Canada alone. Out of our three Google Search Picks, all three actually won!
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This year's searches during the 58th Annual Grammy Awards and Red Carpet reveal the artists, albums and performances that Canadians love and those we turned online to learn more about. Afterall, Google's users are intrinsically curious. Why else would you search?

Happy searching!

Posted by Jenn Kaiser, Communications Manager, Google Canada

Super Bowl 50: Beyonce, Doritos and the hand jive

This year’s big game was filled with action, nostalgia and lots of star power. With all the excitement on the field, Canadians turned to Google to search for their favorite moments of the game - from going Gaga over the national anthem to an end-zone hand jive. Many of us couldn't get enough of the much-awaited halftime performance and went searching for more:  Searches for Coldplay, Beyonce and Bruno Mars spiked dramatically during the halftime show, but the most searched performer during the course of the game was Beyonce.


Sunday's Halftime Show also featured some of the most iconic halftime shows of the past fifty years including the Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, U2 and Katy Perry. Canadians turned online to search for their favourite past performances, with Michael Jackson’s halftime show performance leading the search pack.
In the meantime, football fans in Canada found themselves searching more for the Carolina Panthers than the Denver Broncos during the game, until the Broncos' win when Canadian searches for the Broncos surged.

Big Game Ads

During the game, globally we spent 300k hours watching the big game ads and teaser videos on YouTube and we’ve seen nearly 4 million hours of watch time overall so far. Big game ads and teasers have been watched over 330 million times, with 60% of that coming from mobile devices — the first time the majority of views happened on mobile phones. And that game ain’t over yet. From a witty and sharable PSA to a startling ultrasound, here are the advertisers that Canadians searched for most during the Big Game.


In the years past, we've seen a big spike the day after the game as people get to work on Monday morning and reminisce about their favorite big game Big Game moment. In fact, last year more than 40% of total watch time for big game ads happened in the weeks after the game. So don't forget to vote for your favorite before February 10th at Midnight ET.

The big game might be over, but there's always overtime online!

Posted by Jenn Kaiser, Google Canada Communications Manager

Google gobble: Thanksgiving trends on Search

In just a few hours, people across the U.S. will be settling in for a day of food, family and football as they celebrate Thanksgiving. As the day of gluttony and gratitude comes closer, people have been turning to Google to plan the big meal, get cooking tips and more. Here’s a look at some of the top Turkey Day searches—for more, see Google Trends.

The reason for the season
In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, people turn to Google to learn more about the origins of the holiday and its traditions, both new and old. Top questions include “Why did the pilgrims celebrate the first Thanksgiving?” and “What president made Thanksgiving a national holiday?”
The other reason for the season
Gratitude may be in the name, but food is the centerpiece of Thanksgiving. For weeks now people have been searching for recipes to wow their relatives this Thursday, from classics like cranberry relish and mashed potatoes to turkey alternatives like lasagna and beef stew. Here’s a look at the top recipes that trend every November:
Even amongst regional variations, family eccentricities or that ambitious new recipe you clipped from a food magazine, there’s one dish that takes the casserole on Thanksgiving Day. Stuffing is the top searched Thanksgiving recipe in 49 out of 50 states, with only North Carolina standing up proud for sweet potatoes. Our take: Why not have both?
How do I…?
Even for people whose usual meal prep consists of shuffling through take-out menus, Thanksgiving is a time to roll up your sleeves and get to work in the kitchen. That—and the fact that a 20-lb poultry dish is a little harder to put on the table than, say, the ol’ blue box of mac and cheese—means it’s also a time when many turn to Google to brush up on some cooking tips. In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, you’re asking all kinds of questions, from simple queries like “how to cook spaghetti squash“ and “how to boil eggs” to advanced topics like “what can I make ahead for thanksgiving?” and the very crucial, very daunting “How do you make turkey gravy?”

Let’s talk turkey
The top Thanksgiving recipe question, however, is focused on the main dish: “How to cook a turkey?” Related questions include “how much turkey do you cook per person?” (Answer: there’s math involved but the most important part is making enough for sandwiches for multiple days after), followed quickly by “How long to cook a turkey?” (answer: more math).

And though roasting is still the top trending technique method for cooking the big bird, enterprising (or efficiency-oriented) chefs across the U.S. are also searching for tips on how to smoke and deep-fry their turkeys. Proof that there’s more than one way to cook a turkey.
Whether you’ll be slicing into pumpkin or pecan pie, eating your turkey smoked, turduckened or made of tofu, serving up fresh cranberry sauce or popping open a can—we hope you have a happy Thanksgiving!


Trend or treat: Searching for the top Halloween costumes

“How many days until Halloween?”
“What should I be for Halloween?”

In the weeks leading up to All Hallows’ Eve you turn to Google Search to ask these two crucial questions. So with just days left to perfect a costume for yourself, your kid, your pooch or your partner, here’s a look at some of the top Halloween costume trends across the United States. For more, see Frightgeist, our Google Trends Halloween hub.

If your costume involves a certain familiar ‘do, prepare to have company. Get-ups based on the bombastic GOP candidate for President are spiking, with the top-related search being “Donald Trump wig.” And don’t go looking for blue or purple hair-dye at the last minute on Saturday: chances are it will already have been bought up by kids dressing up as Disney’s “Descendants” characters Mal and Evie.
And if you’re aiming for a unique costume, you might want to avoid buns on the side of your head too. “Star Wars” is the second most searched costume nationwide, and within that Princess Leia reigns supreme above Dark Side standbys Stormtrooper and Darth Vader.

Superhero Squad
“Suicide Squad” may not hit box offices until next summer, but one character from the film is already making a killing in costume searches. “Harley Quinn” takes the top search spot nationwide (rival Batman is in fifth place). But Harley and Bruce Wayne are just a few of the superheroes (and super villains) you can look for this weekend: People are also donning their cuffs for Wonder Woman, their creepy facepaint for Joker, their bodysuits for Catwoman, and their half shell as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (T-U-R-T-L-E Power!). Even lesser-known characters like Scarlet Witch, Vision, Wasp are getting a boost from film franchises like “The Avengers” and “Ant-Man.”

Frightful Fidos
“Dog costume” is always a top search around Halloween—but not because you’re dressing up as Snoopy or Scooby. No, you’re searching for the cutest costume for your four-legged friend. In addition to being adorable, the top dog costumes are just as “Star Wars”-filled as the top human costumes. We assume that’s because they’ve already got the fur and/or ears to make it work.
If dressing your pooch as Chewy feels like asking for trouble, other popular canine costumes include “lion,” “dinosaur,” “shark” and … Olaf. Because—ahem—you still can’t let “Frozen” go.

Better together
When you want a partner in crime or just want insurance against looking silly solo, couples costumes are the way to go. This year, you’re dressing up as famous pop culture pairs like Bonnie and Clyde (the top couples costume overall), Jasmine and Aladdin, Woody and Jessie from "Toy Story," Danny and Sandy from "Grease," and Barbie and Ken. You’re keeping that Halloween realness with searches for Gomez and Morticia Addams and Beetlejuice (#2 on the list, and based on Google Images subject to lots of interpretation). And you’re bringing new meaning to the phrase “I’m dressing up with my boo” with searches for a “Boo and Sully” costume from “Monsters, Inc.”

The treat in “trick or treat”
Even for adults, Halloween is an excuse to eat junk food. In the past month you’ve searched for candy corn, candy apples and Halloween variations on all of your favorite sweets, from donuts to pudding cups to Kit Kats. But one candy reigns supreme: marshmallows (no, not that marshmallow) are the top searched candy over the past month.

Planning Election Day with Google in 4 easy Steps

Here’s a timely phrase that’s on the mind of a lot of Canadians this year: how to vote.
This election day, Google has the answer to this important question and a whole lot more! From the ballot box to watching live results, here’s what you need to know to participate in your democracy on October 19th.

Step 1:  Make sure you know how and where to vote—and who’s on your ballot!

For the first time ever in Canada, simple searches for [how do i vote], [register to vote] and [my election candidates] will confirm what you need to bring to the polls, and will show you who is running in your riding on Monday.  
Step 2: Pledge to Vote
You’ve found all the information you need for Monday, but have you pledged to vote yet? Visit our interactive tool and make your pledge to vote today. And don’t forget to challenge your friends and remind them how important it is to head to the polls!

Go to CBCNews.ca/pledge and share why you are turning out to vote.  
Step 3: Track the results
After the polls close on Monday, you can track all the real-time election results by searching [election results]. If you use Google Now, you’ll get updates on the winners straight from the app to your smartphone!
Step 4: Watch election night coverage
Tune in to the latest live news coverage from Canadian broadcasters at YouTube.com/elxn42.

Throughout the election, Canadians have turned to YouTube as a source of news, commentary and insight. We’ve tuned into YouTube to watch our leaders debate live, and for the latest election trending videos.

Starting at 5PM on October 19th, tune into the YouTube Canada Elections Hub at youtube.com/elxn42 for live election coverage from Canadians news organizations such as Global News, CBC, RadioCanada and Vice News.

All set Canada? Happy Voting!

Kate Sokolov, Program Manager, Politics & Elections Google

How Canada searched the #Elxn42 Campaign

As voting day fast approaches, let’s take a step back to look at the issues, stories and leaders Canadians searched over the 78 day election.

Leader Searches
At the outset of the election we looked at the most searched federal leader in each of Canada’s 338 ridings. In the month of July, Stephen Harper was the most searched federal leader in 56% of Canada’s ridings. The number didn’t change much after the campaign got underway, when Stephen Harper remained the most searched leader in 54% of ridings. Justin Trudeau was the top searched leader in 33% of ridings and Thomas Mulcair was the top search in 10% of ridings.

We just ran the numbers for October and have seen a different pattern emerge as the election continues. In October, Justin Trudeau has become the top searched leader in 50% of Canadian ridings, Stephen Harper in 45% of ridings, and Thomas Mulcair in 3%.

A riding-by-riding breakdown of search interest for the federal leaders over the course of the campaign.

In early September CBC’s Peter Mansbridge sat down with each of the federal leaders. And, with each interview came a jump in searches as Canadians went online to learn more about the various party leaders

In terms of the issues that have generated the most search interest over the course of the campaign, the refugee crisis and niqab saw the largest spike in searches along with several issues associated with Canada’s economy.

The refugee crisis generated strong search activity across the country. To see what was the top searched issue in your riding, explore this interactive map.

The only real competition for Canadian search attention during the campaign was Canada’s own Toronto Blue Jays. So with two big October showdowns looming on the calendar, we took a look at how interest in the Jays compared with interest in our democracy. Looks like a dead heat!


Issues aside, Canadians are clearly passionate about participating in their democracy and making an informed decision come voting day. The top question Canadians searched about the election: When is the election? The answer is, of course, Monday October 19th.

Mark your calendar… and see you at the polls!

Through the Google lens: Search Trends Sept 18–24

Even if you weren’t trying to keep up with all your fall shows returning, this week was a busy one. Here’s a look at what captured our attention the past seven days—from the Pope to a little rat with a big dream.

Also, we’re changing up this series, so this will be our last regular Friday post for a while. We’ll be back soon in a different format. Until then, keep on searchin’ on.

Pizza rat is all of us
Let’s start with the important stuff. This week the Internet was captivated by a YouTube video showing a rat carrying a slice of pizza down the stairs of a New York subway station. There were more than 50K+ searches for “Pizza Rat” on Monday, and the 14 second-video has more than 6 million views at last count. But while #PizzaRat memes multiplied across the web, New Yorkers had some more unsettling questions in mind, like: “How many rats are in New York?” and “What is the rat to people ratio in New York?” (Are you sure you want to know?) Whether Pizza Rat is a hero or a quitter, something about him spoke to us. Because in a way, aren’t we all just rats trying to find a slice of pizza in the subway station of life?

Hello, Pope Francis
This week Pope Francis became the fourth pope to visit the United States, in a highly anticipated tour that took him from D.C. to New York, with a Philadelphia stop still to come. Every day of his visit has brought headlines and curious searches (more than 500K on Tuesday)—and he’s been busy. He met with President Obama (and the President’s dogs) at the White House, stopped by the Capitol to give a joint address to Congress (the first time a pontiff has ever done so), canonized Junipero Serra, visited the 9/11 Memorial, spoke at the United Nations and made statements on everything ranging from climate change to the refugee crisis.

Meanwhile, people have been asking all sorts of questions about the Pope and his visit. Perhaps the most interesting—and inspiring—searches about the Pope’s visit are those looking for information on what he has said. Notably, people wanted to learn more about Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day, whom the Pope described in his joint address to Congress as Americans who had “built a better future” through “hard work and self-sacrifice” (the other two Americans he mentioned? Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr.). In fact, searches for Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Worker Movement and an advocate for social justice, spiked 1700x after the Pope discussed her in his speech.

It ain’t over ‘til it’s over
This week baseball fans and others said farewell to Yankees catcher Yogi Berra, who died at age 90. A Hall of Famer who appeared in 21 World Series as a player, coach and manager, Yogi was perhaps best known for his nonsensical, sometimes koan-like statements (some of which it’s disputed he actually made, but all of which you’ve probably said without even knowing their origin), and as the namesake for the cartoon bear. As news spread of his death, people searched for him more than 1M times, asking “What number was Yogi Berra?” and “How did Yogi Berra get the name Yogi?” (It’s a good story.)