Year in Search: Kiwis Top Trending Searches for 2020 Revealed

From banana bread to Bloomfield and Benee, this year’s top trending searches show what puzzled, intrigued and entertained us this year. 

People come to Google Search for help in moments big and small billions of times a day - whether it’s to ask what is matariki, to find the lyrics to Kiwi Jawsh685’s Savage Love or understand antifa. Which is why, for the past 20 years, Google’s annual Year in Search moment has provided a window into the cultural zeitgeist. 

So let’s take this moment is a time for reflection, and look at some of the themes that defined 2020 for Kiwis:

Staying home and figuring it out

As Alert Levels and Dr Ashley Bloomfield became part of our everyday vernacular, we quickly became adjusted to the new language of a pandemic, in understanding lockdown restrictions and how best to protect ourselves. We made face masks and hand sanitizer, and as we stayed home and faced job uncertainty, we looked to Work and Income for support. We relied on the Ministry of Health as knowledge became power in understanding the pandemic. We also discovered new ways to continue to work and learn online, through productivity and learning tools like Zoom, Seesaw and Education Perfect. 

Culinary curiosity, but make it simple

Kiwis searched for “easy recipes” more than most other countries in March, reflecting either a newfound vigour or fear for the home cooking adventure of lockdown. Putting all the flour to good use, baked goods were king - hot cross buns, scones and pancakes all popular options. Naan and butter chicken were the more interesting savoury fare. Perhaps showing the limited runs to the supermarket, we also wanted to know how to make buttermilk and self raising flour. Chelsea Winter was an inspiration as was a plant based diet. And to counter earlier indulgences we wanted to know how to lose

Kiwis supporting Kiwis

In a year when many businesses faced tough times, Kiwis searched for "shop local" and "small business"  more than we have for a decade. We showed greater interest in the economic market with NZX50 and Sharesies both trending. Homegrown talent piqued our interest as they made their mark overseas; Taika Waititi kept us entertained (at home) during lockdowns, Benee performed on a global stage, and Israel Adesanya, appearing on the trending Kiwis list for the second year in a row, showed his prowess in MMA fighting internationally. And in true Kiwi style, sporting heroes Lydio Ko, Ross Taylor and Dan Carter broke through.

Politically Engaged

Once we figured out how to vote, Kiwis showed their civic engagement with strong interest in our local election and the political figures who defined our election race. We were also following events happening worldwide closely, with international politicians making up half of the public figures on New Zealand’s list of trending international faces, and ‘US Election Results’ making it to second place of the Overall Trending Searches list. 

More than ever, New Zealand’s top trending searches reflect a year of seeking new information, understanding and awareness of the world around us. 

Overall Trending Searches:

  1. Coronavirus 

  2. US Election Results 

  3. Zoom

  4. SeeSaw

  5. Kobe Bryant 

  6. Ministry of Health 

  7. Education Perfect 

  8. Work and Income

  9. Naya Rivera 

  10. Sharesies 

News Events:

  1. Coronavirus 

  2. US Election Results 

  3. Australia fires 

  4. Election Results NZ 

  5. Nzx50 

  6. Iran 

  7. Italy Coronavirus 

  8. Beirut 

  9. Level 2

  10. Iowa Caucus 

Kiwi Celebs:

  1. Hayley Holt 

  2. Israel Adesanya

  3. Ashley Bloomfield

  4. Lydia Ko

  5. David Bain 

  6. Taika Waititi

  7. Chelsea Winter

  8. Benee 

  9. Dan Carter 

  10. Ross Taylor 

Global Figures:

  1. Kim Jong Un

  2. Donald Trump 

  3. Boris Johnson

  4. Joe Biden 

  5. Tom Hanks 

  6. Elon Musk 

  7. Joe Exotic 

  8. Kamala Harris

  9. Carole Baskin

  10. Kanye West  

New Zealand Politicians:

  1. Todd Muller

  2. Jacinda Ardern 

  3. Judith Collins

  4. Simon Bridges 

  5. Chloe Swarbrick 

  6. David Clark 

  7. Andrew Falloon

  8. David Seymour 

  9. Winston Peters 

How To:

  1. How to make a face mask? 

  2. How to make hand sanitizer?

  3. How to vote NZ?

  4. How to lose weight fast? 

  5. How to make buttermilk? 

  6. How to make pancakes? 

  7. How to make self raising flour? 

  8. How to make naan bread? 

  9. How to make bread? 

  10. How to use Zoom? 

What is:

  1. What is Coronavirus? 

  2. What is the name of the Kingdom in Tangled? 

  3. What is Level 2? 

  4. What is a pandemic? 

  5. What is Matariki? 

  6. What is the time? 

  7. What is a simp? 

  8. What is buttermilk? 

  9. What is 5g? 

  10. What is antifa? 


  1. Kobe Bryant 

  2. George Floyd 

  3. Chadwick Boseman 

  4. Caroline Flack 

  5. Sushant Singh Rajpu 

  6. Kenny Rogers

  7. Kelly Preston 

  8. Eddie Van Halen 

  9. Sean Connery

  10. Rishi Kapoor  


  1. Hot cross bun

  2. Scone

  3. Banana bread

  4. Bread

  5. Naan bread

  6. Banana cake

  7. Carrot cake

  8. Butter chicken

  9. Ciabatta

  10. Pancake

Sporting Events:

  1. India vs New Zealand

  2. All Blacks vs Australia

  3. NRL

  4. EPL

  5. Champions League

  6. Premier League

  7. IPL

  8. Australia Open 2020

  9. Super Rugby 2020

  10. Mitre 10 Cup

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