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 January 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.
A Somber Start to the 2020s
Well, I am not going to sugarcoat it. Some of the top queries in January 2020 were about troubling events. In the beginning of the month, Iran was a top-searched topic after the assassination of Qassem Soleimani.
The other 10 million+ queries were as follows:
- Iran - Jan. 7th - 10 Million+ queries
- Iran - Jan. 2nd - 5 Million+ queries
- World War 3 - Jan. 2nd - 2 Million+ queries
By the end of the month, the top searched queries centered around a tragic helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter, Gianna and seven other passengers. Although we don’t focus on this topic here in our blog posts, celebrity deaths do drive people to query Google for details and make the top three phrases every month. That’s why this past month, the shock of Kobe Bryant’s death overwhelmed the search volume on January 26th. Here are the top queried phrases on that day:
- Kobe Bryant - Jan. 26th - 10 Million+ queries
- Kobe Bryant children - Jan. 26th - 10 Million+ queries
- TMZ - Jan. 26th - 10 Million+ queries
Typically, we don’t see all three of the top queried terms have over 10 million queries each, but this tragedy was an exception.
Holidays Continue in January
Even though December is well known as being a holiday month, January 2020 had a few holidays of its own that drove queries:
- Martin Luther King Jr Day - Jan. 19th - 10 Million+ queries
- Lunar New Year - Jan. 24th - 10 Million+ queries
- Chinese New Year - Jan. 24th - 500,000+ queries
The holiday keywords that had over 10 million queries had the additional support of Google Doodles to increase their numbers. But even when our attention shifts away from the year-end holidays, there are still major ones in January that consumers are looking to learn more about with Google searches.
Boxing Is Still Relevant As Revealed In Search Queries
Sport-related queries take up a good portion of the top queried phrases of any month. January 2020 had a few days where the subject of boxing made the top three. In last month’s post, we discussed the popularity of European soccer. This month, it is clear that boxing and mixed martial arts also have a strong interest.
- Conor McGregor - Jan. 17th - 10 Million+ queries
- McGregor fight - Jan. 18th - 2 Million+ queries
- McGregor fight - Jan. 17th - 1 Million+ queries
- Jake Paul vs Gib - Jan. 30th - 500,000+ queries
Conor McGregor commanded top billing for his fight on January 18th. People searching for results or perhaps a free stream of the fight had to type quickly since it only lasted 40 seconds.
The fight on the 30th between Jake Paul and AnEsonGib also drove search queries. These two YouTube stars fought a professional bout in Miami and generated enough interest to become one of the top 3 keywords searched in Google for the day.
Disease and Other Natural Disasters
I really wish I had happier keywords to share in this post. But looking across the different terms for the month, another big trend included news items related to epidemics and disasters around the world:
- Coronavirus - Jan. 21st - 2 Million+ queries
- Earthquake - Jan. 28th - 1 Million+ queries
- Lyme disease - Jan. 8th - 1 Million+ queries
- Australia fires - Jan. 2nd - 1 Million+ queries
- Taal volcano - Jan. 12th - 500,000+ queries
- Coronavirus symptoms - Jan. 29th - 200,000+ queries
- Puerto Rico earthquake - Jan. 6th - 200,000+ queries
We can thank Justin Bieber for raising awareness of Lyme Disease. The rest of these are driven by people wanting to get the latest news on these stories.
As we say goodbye to the first month of 2020 and welcome February in full-force, we’ll keep track of the top keywords queried in hopes of finding more positive, uplifting search terms.
See you next month!