Tag Archives: Year in Search

"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.

Year in Search 2019: Of massive moonshots and mega movies

Recapping the many trends that stoked our users’ imagination in 2019, here are the standout moments in Search across news, sporting events, personalities, movies, songs and more -- presenting our 2019 Year in Search recap.

The top 10 overall list of trending search terms this year reflected the country's excitement around events like the Cricket World Cup, the Lok Sabha elections, and the buzzing interest that surrounded the launch of Chandrayaan 2. Movies like Kabir Singh, Joker, and a double entry of Marvel’s blockbusters -- Avengers: Endgame and Captain Marvel -- also featured in the overall list.

In movies, the ones that spiked this year included a mix of musicals and action flicks. The Indian movies here included Gully Boy, Mission Mangal, and War. On the international front the list included the critically-acclaimed Joker and the two Marvel movies, which also turned out to be among the most searched queries overall.

Personalities that stood out this year included Abhinandan Varthaman, Lata Mangeshkar, and Yuvraj Singh, and we even saw a unique entry with the singing sensation that is Ranu Mondal. Sporting searches were dominated by the Cricket World Cup followed by the Pro Kabaddi League. Other international sporting spectacles like the Wimbledon, Copa América, and the tennis tournaments (including the Australian, French and US Open) were also highly searched.

In general news queries, searches were understandably dominated by the Lok Sabha Elections, Chandrayaan 2, and Article 370. The Maharashtra and Haryana state assembly elections were also highly searched. Rounding up the list were a mix of both local and global news moments such as the Pulwama attack, Cyclone Fani, the Ayodhya verdict, and the Amazon forest fire.

Among our ‘How to…’ searches, we saw a wide variety of queries ranging from “How to vote“ to “How to get Fastag” and even “How to select channels as per TRAI”. When it came to users looking to learn more and asking ‘What is…’, the top query was “What is Article 370?’. Other trending searches also included “What is howdy Modi?”, “What is DLS method in cricket?”, and “What is Article 15?”. And on local searches around ‘Near me…’, the top query was “Dance classes near me” followed by “Salons near me”. Interestingly, a pertinent entry in this particular list in 2019 was “Air quality Index near me”.  

View the complete 2019 India-specific lists and global trends in detail; and check out over a thousand global top-ten lists across pop culture, sports, music, politics, news, and more, from more than 75 countries.

Year in Search 2017: From Bahubali to Bitcoin

As we bid farewell to the year and anticipate the onset of 2018, it’s that time to dwell on the year’s biggest interests, sporting events, and the flurry of questions that reflected the aspirations, thoughts and imagination of India’s online millions -- presenting our 2017 Year in Search recap.

This year, Bollywood and Cricket continued to remain the top two themes that ruled the charts. After breaking several records at box offices, India’s most expensive movie also broke language boundaries, attracting huge search interest from movie buffs across the nation: It’s no surprise that the blockbuster movie ‘Baahubali 2: The Conclusion’ topped Google’s trending searches charts this year.  This was followed by searches around the Indian Premier League and ‘Live Cricket Score’, highlighting India’s never-failing love for Cricket and making these phrases the second- and third-most trending search queries respectively. Also making it to the Top 10 list were Bollywood blockbusters Dangal and Badrinath Ki Dulhania.

From firing up emotions to getting a groove on, Bollywood songs kept the tempo high on Search. Among the top trending songs this year, Hawa Hawa from the Arjun Kapoor starrer Mubarakan crowned the charts, followed by sufi track Mere Rashke Qamar originally sung by legendary Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and recreated by vocalist Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. The prevalent interest in Western music was well established with the latin hit Despacito and Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You featuring among the top trending tracks.

Sunny Leone once again featured among the top entertainers this year followed by Big Boss entrant Arshi Khan, Sapna Choudhary and YouTube singing sensation Vidya Vox. The glamor of B-town dominated the rest of the list with names like Disha Patani, Sunil Grover, and Rana Daggubati.

Google’s Year in Search 2017 also reflected the year’s top news moments that captured India’s attention: CBSE results, UP elections, Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Budget featured among the trending news events. Indians were also on point with the rest of the world when it came to knowing more about Bitcoin prices or expressing interest about ransomware. Then, of course, there was India’s historic win at the Miss World ceremony, which catapulted Manushi Chhillar to international fame.

Among the top ‘What is’ queries this year, GST, Bitcoin, Jallikattu and BS3 vehicle remained the most trending themes.  And mirroring millions of real-world needs and concerns, the how-to set of queries saw users seeking answers to a range of subjects from  ‘How to link aadhaar with PAN card’ to How to buy a Jio phone to even How to remove Holi color from the face!

View the complete 2017 India-specific  lists and global trends in detail; and dive into over a thousand global top-ten lists across pop culture, sports, music, politics, news, and more, from more than 75 countries.

Meanwhile, search on!