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 December 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.
The Last Month of 2020
It’s been quite a year, eh? After November with all of the election query volume, we weren’t sure we’d have the energy to craft another examination of Google Trends data. Thankfully, if we learned anything from this year, we know that we are more resilient than we ever imagined and we have the strength to write as many articles as needed to close out the year. Even though December didn’t have an election, there were plenty of things that people found interesting and turned to Google to find more information. Here are the highlights from the data we collected from Google Trends.
The keyword phrases with the most queries were all attached to Google Doodles in December 2020. They were the only phrases reported as having 10 million plus queries.
- Sudan the last male northern white rhino - 12/19/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries
- Winter Solstice Great Conjunction - 12/20/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries
- New Year's Eve - 12/30/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries
Each of these phrases were connected to a Doodle that sat at the top of Google.com. Every click on the Doodle drove users to the Google result page with the phrase populated in the search box. The case and the punctuation are copied exactly as they are reported in Google Trends so if the phrase has multiple words in lowercase, that’s what we report here.
The first keyword is related to the ongoing rhino conservation efforts and the dangers of extinction. With Jupiter and Saturn appearing close to each other in the sky, there was a Doodle created to celebrate a vision that has not been seen in almost 800 years. Lastly, Google had a Doodle up for NYE. The AMP team finds it interesting that the days of the query volume are shifted one day ahead of the actual event (Example: New Year’s Eve is December 31st, not December 30th). This shift in the data may be due to how Google Trends is measuring the beginning and ending of days. An earlier start time could account for this shift.
December is known for its holidays. Here are the phrases that we categorized as Holiday terms.
- Best Buy - 12/14/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
- Santa Tracker - 12/23/2020 - 5,000,000+ queries
- Merry Christmas wishes - 12/23/2020 - 500,000+ queries
- Merry Christmas - 12/24/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
- Restaurants open on Christmas - 12/24/2020 - 500,000+ queries
- Happy New Year 2021 - 12/30/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
- Ball Drop 2021 - 12/31/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
Best Buy made the list because they had sold out of gaming consoles and were restocking on the 15th. The Santa Tracker is a perennial favorite, but is the popularity waning?
Search query volume for this phrase peaked in December 2018. Santa may need a little more PR next year. Along with the other Christmas phrases, we saw the utilitarian phrase of “Restaurants open on Christmas” made the top 3. We hope that restaurants received more orders this year as the pandemic has taken a large toll on the industry. Finally, there were more New Year’s Eve queries including one related to the famous ball drop.
What Are We Going To Watch?
We saw a good number of queries related to streaming video content. Here’s the list of shows and movies that were noteworthy in December.
- Selena Netflix - 12/3/2020 - 500,000+ queries
- Mandalorian - 12/18/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
- Mandalorian - 12/18/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
- The Midnight Sky - 12/23/2020 - 500,000+ queries
- Soul - 12/24/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
- Wonder Woman 1984 - 12/25/2020 - 5,000,000+ queries
The Mandalorian’s Season 2 finale was so popular that it made the top 3 twice (somehow) on the 18th. Glitches like this one are not new to the AMP team, but we report them just the same. The big winner appears to be Wonder Woman 1984, which received the most query volume of any video content related phrase.
Broadcast TV drove queries too, but at smaller volumes.
- Timothee Chalamet - 12/12/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
- Who Won 'The Voice' 2020 - 12/15/2020 - 500,000+ queries
- LeAnn Rimes -12/16/2020 - 500,000+ queries
There were a couple of celebrity names queried because of their appearance on shows. Timothée Chalamet hosted Saturday Night Live and LeAnn Rimes won this season’s The Masked Singer competition. People also wanted to know who won The Voice this year, but clearly the winner’s name wasn’t that important.
Gaming and Tech News
There were some notable keywords that are related to video games, for good and bad reasons, that made the daily top 3 in December.
- Fortnite Season 5 - 12/1/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
- Cyberpunk 2077 - 12/7/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
- Cyberpunk 2077 - 12/7/2020 - 500,000+ queries
- Cyberpunk 2077 - 12/9/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
On December 1, Fortnite Chapter 2, Season 5 launched and is set to end on March 15, 2021. Cyberpunk 2077 had a large promotion and made the top 3 twice (again, somehow) on the 7th.
The game launched on the 10th of December, but news of glitches and poor performance on game consoles drove queries even higher. Beyond video games, there were other tech related keywords that made our list.
- Spotify - 12/1/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
- Airbnb stock - 12/9/2020 - 500,000+ queries
- Bitcoin - 12/16/2020 - 500,000+ queries
Spotify’s yearly release of “Your Top Songs” has been gaining popularity over the years. Take a look at what this feature does for search interest in the brand every December.
AirBnB went public and Bitcoin hit a record high last month (and it keeps increasing)!
Fall and Winter Sports
Our last section of the year is focused on sports. Just over a third of the queries that made the daily top 3 were related to sports, which is typical of pre-Covid months. The list of the 2 Million plus queried phrases includes mostly NFL-related keywords.
- Russell Westbrook - 12/2/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
- Steelers - 12/6/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
- Cowboys vs Ravens - 12/8/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
- Browns - 12/14/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
- Raiders - 12/17/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
- Alabama football - 12/18/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
- NFL scores - 12/19/2020 - 2,000,000 + queries
- Steelers - 12/21/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
- Dolphins vs Raiders - 12/26/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
Maybe when we can attend live games, we’ll see this sports-focused distribution more often in our monthly reports.
Check out Google’s Year in Search 2020 if you haven’t already. It is powered by Google Trends so if you have been reading this series regularly, much of it won’t be news to you.
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Until next month.