Top 20 Google Searches in 2020

Michael Sheather
on 30 December 2020

From catastrophic bushfires to roiling floodwaters and pandemic disease, 2020 has provided Australians with a vast array of disasters to occupy our minds.

So much so that it’s been difficult to keep up.

Luckily, however, Google has managed to keep tabs on what has occupied out minds during the past seven months, revealing the top things that we have all been googling.

Of course, we all started the year searching for the latest news about the fires burning across the country but that quickly switched to the looming danger presented to us all by the coronavirus, which turned out to be the top search completed between January and June. 

bushfires, Hatch
Australian bush fires

Other topics included social distancing, panic buying and toilet paper. And searches for worldometers, the grimly accurate record of coronavirus infections, deaths and recoveries. 

And amongst all the pandemic information, there were also glimpses that reflected if not exactly normality then perhaps our fascination with the weird and the fringe-dwelling, such as a spike about Tiger King precisely four months ago when we were all locked inside and watching our televisions.

COVID-19 and social distancing are the top two trending searches

But perhaps the most disturbing search is for the word furlough, which means, “a temporary leave of employees due to special needs of a company or employer, which may be due to economic conditions of a specific employer or in society as a whole”. If that doesn’t encapsulate 2020 in a single word, then nothing does.

Here are the top 20 Google searches so far this year:

  1. Coronavirus
  2. Social Distancing
  3. Worldometers
  4. Panic buying
  5. Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)
  6. Black Lives Matter
  7. Pandemic
  8. Hand sanitiser
  9. Animal Crossing
  10. Spanish flu
  11. Kobe Bryant
  12. Zoom Video Communications
  13. Social Isolation
  14. Quarantine
  15. Toilet paper
  16. Furlough
  17. TikTok
  18. Bushfires in Australia
  19. Epidemic
  20. Stockpile

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