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Glendower
Most Googled words of 2020

Most Googled words of 2020

Coronavirus dominated our lives this year, and Google data shows how it dominated what we were thinking about too.  The top search was, of course, coronavirus – and that drove people to flock to Google search to make sense of the changes to their lives and adapt to new ways of living.

South Africa’s top Google searches this year.

The Sasol share price, where to buy beer during lockdown, and the pineapple beer recipe featured highly.

Recipes for pineapple beer featured highly in South Africa, thanks to government’s booze ban during the hard lockdown in April and May.

“Pandemic notwithstanding, South Africans’ love affair with sport, celebrities and politics remained unchanged,” Google said in a statement.

The top 10 trending searches in South Africa in 2020 were:

  1. Coronavirus
  2. US elections update
  3. Sasol share price
  4. Level-3 lockdown South Africa
  5. Children’s Day
  6. Hantavirus
  7. Load shedding
  8. Cigarettes ban South Africa
  9. Teacher’s Day
  10. Leap Day

The top trending questions were:

  1. How to apply for an unemployment grant?
  2. Who won the election?
  3. What time is the President on tonight?
  4. What is coronavirus?
  5. What is 5G?
  6. Where does vanilla flavouring come from?
  7. Why were cornflakes invented?
  8. Where to buy beer during lockdown?
  9. Why were chainsaws invented?
  10. How to make hand sanitiser?

The top trending South African personalities were:

  1. Katlego Maboe
  2. Nikita Murray
  3. Edwin Sodi
  4. Lerato Kganyago
  5. Menzi Ngubane
  6. Jackie Phamotse
  7. Tino Chinyani
  8. Sophie Ndaba
  9. Nomcebo Zikode
  10. Monique Muller

The top trending political figures were:

  1. Joe Biden
  2. Kim Jong Un
  3. Kamala Harris
  4. Boris Johnson
  5. Angie Motshekga
  6. Ace Magashule
  7. Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams
  8. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
  9. Andile Lungisa
  10. Bheki Cele

The top trending sports searches were:

  1. Premier League
  2. England vs South Africa
  3. PSL standings
  4. IPL
  5. Champions League
  6. South Africa vs Australia
  7. La Liga
  8. Serie A
  9. Europa League
  10. Kaizer Chiefs vs Mamelodi Sundowns

The top trending recipes were:

  1. Pizza dough recipe
  2. Doughnut recipe
  3. Pineapple beer recipe
  4. Banana loaf recipe
  5. Pancakes recipe
  6. Magwinya recipe
  7. Lemon meringue recipe
  8. Cinnabon recipe
  9. Naan bread recipe
  10. Pornstar martini recipe

The UK’s top trending queries were:

1. Coronavirus
2. US election
3. Caroline Flack
4. Coronavirus symptoms
5. Coronavirus update
6. Premier League
7. Boris Johnson
8. Eat Out to Help Out
9. Kobe Bryant
10. Kim Jong Un

“How to make a face mask?” was the top how-to question asked throughout the year, closely followed by “How to make bread” and “How to cut your own hair”, as hairdressers and barbers were forced to close during lockdown.

News events also drove the other top questions throughout the year:

1. Who won the election?
2. Where does vanilla flavouring come from?
3. How many cases of coronavirus in UK?
4. What is VE Day?
5. How did coronavirus start?
6. When will lockdown end?
7. How to make a face mask?
8. How to make hand sanitiser?
9. How many people have died from coronavirus?
10. What time is Boris Johnson’s speech today?

Philip Schofield was the most searched-after celebrity in the UK this year after coming out as gay back in February.

1. Phillip Schofield
2. Carole Baskin
3. Joe Exotic
4. Jordan North
5. Elon Musk
6. Prince Harry
7. Kanye West
8. Ruthie Henshall
9. Johnny Depp
10. Tom Hanks

People also searched their favourite song lyrics – in what would make a very curious compilation album.

1. WAP lyrics
2. We’ll Meet Again lyrics
3. Godzilla lyrics
4. The Box lyrics
5. Rule Britannia lyrics
6. Dance Monkey lyrics
7. No Time To Die lyrics
8. Break My Stride lyrics
9. Land of Hope and Glory lyrics
10. Savage Love lyrics

The US election was, unsurprisingly, the biggest single news event of the year – or at least the one that prompted the most Google searches.

1. US election
2. George Floyd
3. Madeleine McCann
4. VE Day
5. Captain Tom
6. Iran
7. Trump vs Biden
8. Ghislaine Maxwell
9. Storm Clara
10. Kanye West

People also searched for celebrities who we lost this year.

1. Caroline Flack
2. Kobe Bryant
3. Naya Rivera
4. Chadwick Boseman
5. Sean Connery
6. Maradona
7. Sushant Singh Rajput
8. Kirk Douglas
9. Kelly Preston
10. Bobby Ball

Search trends information is gleaned from data collated by Google.


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