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Google Search Trends Insights August 2020

In our continuing series of examining Google Search Trends to gain insights into the top keywords queried in the USA, we present our findings for August 2020.

Every day, we capture the top three keyword phrases in terms of search volume as reported by Google Trends (US Only). Each term has an estimated query volume attached to it, which we also record. The number scale tops out at 10,000,000+ with a lower limit of 200,000+. After the conclusion of the month, we look at the phrases we collected along with their volumes to get an understanding of what drove queries for the month.

August 2020 Overview

In August 2020, many keywords related to politics made the daily top 3 as both the Democrats and Republicans held their National Conventions to elect their candidates for U.S. President. Sports-related phrases made up a higher percentage of the keywords we collected as compared to July. Out of the 93 phrases we collected, 34 were about sports subjects, with the majority related to the NBA and European soccer. Keyword phrases related to the entertainment industry were a popular subject matter with a few movie trailers driving searches. Lastly, August had a few breaking news stories that compelled users to seek more information via Google.  

 

Google Doodles

As is typical, many of the keyword phrases that drove over 10 million queries in a day were connected to Google Doodles. These queries are recorded whenever a user clicks on the Doodle and is brought to a result page for the user to learn more about the subject.

  • Vicki Draves - 8/2/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries
  • Julius Lothar Meyer - 8/18/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries
  • Barbara Hepworth - 8/24/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries

Vicki Draves was the first Asian American woman to win an Olympic medal, and the Doodle was published to celebrate the day she won gold in the women’s 3-meter springboard event at the London Summer Olympics.

Julius Lothar Meyer was a German Chemist who had a hand in developing the periodic table of the chemical elements. The Doodle was in honor of his 190th birthday.

Barbara Hepworth was an English abstract sculptor and the Doodle commemorated the day that she established her art studio.

Although there is no marketing angle to these types of phrases, it is notable how many queries are driven by users interacting with the Doodle. 

Political Queries

Since this is a Presidential election year, we are seeing an increase in the number of queries related to US politics making the daily top 3. Here is the list of the most popular ones from last month: 

  • Kamala Harris - 8/10/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries
  • Michelle Obama - 8/17/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
  • Steve Bannon - 8/20/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
  • Kellyanne Conway - 8/23/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
  • Kimberly Guilfoyle - 8/24/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries

Kamala Harris drove the most queries on the day it was announced she would be Joe Biden’s running mate. Michelle Obama and Kimberly Guilfoyle made the top 3 on the days they made speeches during political conventions. Steve Bannon was arrested for fraud and Kellyann Conway announced that she was leaving her post in the Trump administration. We will continue to monitor phrases related to politics and report if their query volume continues to increase as we get closer to Election Day.

Breaking News Topics

 

As news breaks and people seek more information on topics they learned from other media or from word-of-mouth, queries surge in Google. In August, we had a good number of queries that had over 5 million queries in a day.  

  • Beirut explosion today - 8/4/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries
  • Beirut - 8/4/2020 - 5,000,000+ queries
  • Kenosha shooting - 8/23/2020 - 5,000,000+ queries
  • Hurricane Laura - 8/25/2020 - 5,000,000+ queries
  • Hurricane Laura - 8/26/2020 - 5,000,000+ queries

The Beirut explosion drove two queries on the 4th, and we found it interesting to see the search refinement of “explosion today” had more reported volume than the city name. We believe the results returned on the city-name only keyword of “Beirut” were not matching the intent of the query and users were refining their search to find results related to the devastating explosion.

The shooting in Kenosha and Hurricane Laura over two days received over 5 million queries. Google continues to be a resource for people to find more information for important news stories.

Entertainment Industry Keywords

In August 2020, the top queried terms were related to new movies, an awards show, a marriage, and the sad news of actors’ deaths.

  • Wilford Brimley - 8/1/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
  • The Batman - 8/21/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
  • Batman Trailer - 8/22/2020 - 500,000+ queries
  • Bill and Ted - 8/28/2020 - 500,000+ queries
  • Chadwick Boseman - 8/28/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries
  • VMAs - 8/30/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
  • Niecy Nash - 8/31/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries

The newest Batman reboot’s trailer hit the web last month and made the daily top 3 across two days. The third Bill and Ted film was released in theaters and on video-on-demand platforms.  Usually when we see queries related to films make the daily top 3, it means the film will be successful. We’ll have to wait to see how successful these films are in terms of profitability.

MTV’s Video Music Awards are a perennial top query. This year, the awards were a little more popular than they were last year in terms of search volume.

vma

Although the awards show saw an increase in 2020, it has been driving less queries over the past 5 shows with a peak in 2016. 

The remaining top Entertainment Industry related phrases are driven by celebrity news. Specifically, Niecy Nash got married and users wanted to know more about her nuptials. Lastly, as we have reported in the past, celebrity deaths are big drivers of search queries and the passing of Wilford Brimley and Chadwick Boseman were the most noteworthy last month.  

NBA Dominating Sports Queries

As stated in the overview, sports-related queries took up a third of our overall list of keywords we captured from Google Trends last month. Of the sports-related keywords, the NBA was a top topic. Here are the phrases related to the NBA from August 2020:

  • Lakers vs Pacers - 8/8/2020 - 200,000
  • Blazers - 8/13/2020 - 500,000
  • Grizzlies vs Trail Blazers - 8/15/2020 - 500,000
  • NBA Playoffs - 8/17/2020 - 1,000,000
  • Clippers - 8/17/2020 - 500,000
  • Lakers - 8/18/2020 - 2,000,000
  • Clippers - 8/19/2020 - 500,000
  • NBA Draft Lottery - 8/20/2020 - 1,000,000
  • Lakers - 8/21/2020 - 500,000
  • Kobe Bryant - 8/22/2020 - 2,000,000
  • Luka Doncic - 8/22/2020 - 500,000
  • NBA boycott - 8/26/2020 - 1,000,000
  • Cliff Robinson - 8/29/2020 - 1,000,000

It’s interesting to note that in August, two other major sports leagues (MLB, NHL) were playing live games. If search query volume can be used as an indication of popularity, the NBA is the most popular of these three leagues. With the NFL kicking off in September, we’ll see how the NBA fares in the daily top 3. Stayed tuned for next month’s article to see for sure.

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Until next month.

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