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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 September 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.

September 2020 At a Glance

In September 2020, we saw that sports-related keywords took up many of the top 3 queries on a daily basis. Out of the 90 we collected for the month, 48 of them were about a sports team, event, or athlete. There was so much interest in sports that we saw peculiar results in what Google Trends reported on two days of the month. On September 11 and 22, the same phrase was repeated twice as the second and third most popular query of the day:   

  • Naomi Osaka - 9/11/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
  • Naomi Osaka - 9/11/2020 - 500,000+ queries
  • Lakers - 9/22/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
  • Lakers - 9/22/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries

The AMP team is not sure what happened here or why there was a glitch. Since we look at these phrases every day, we have noticed that the results can vary from day to day. The top 3 can be different in 48 hours from the first time we check it, which is typically the next morning.  This is the first time we have seen the top 3 have duplicates in two days of the month.

Politics were the other big category for keyword volume where the first Presidential debate drove searches. Lastly, video games and a fast food chain’s celebrity meal made for interesting data points that we will showcase later on in this article. 

The Top Queried Phrases (Mostly 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. The one exception happened on the 18th with the news of Ruth Bader Ginburg’s death. 

  • Labor Day - 9/6/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries
  • Terry Fox - 9/12/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries
  • Felicitas Mendez - 9/14/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg - 9/18/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries
  • Jovita Idár - 9/20/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries
  • Google - 9/27/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries

There was a Doodle created to commemorate Labor Day.  We’ve seen this kind of Doodle for other holidays like the 4th of July, but there were no other related queries to the holiday unlike what we covered for the Fourth in our July Search Trends post

Terry Fox was a Canadian athlete and humanitarian who, after losing his leg to cancer, decided to run across his country to raise awareness and funds for cancer research. This first run was called the “Marathon of Hope '' and is now celebrated each year since 1981 on September 13th were people can walk, run or cycle as a part of the Terry Fox Run.

On the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month 2020, Puerto Rican civil rights pioneer Felicitas Mendez was celebrated. She led and won the lawsuit that resulted in the first US federal court ruling against public school segregation in 1946.

Another Google Doodle celebrated Jovita Idár, who was a pioneer in the fight for Mexican-American civil rights at the turn of the 20th century.

Finally, Google’s declared birthday is September 27th and they celebrated with a Doodle.  Happy 22nd birthday!

Political Queries

As we reported last month, we are seeing an increase in the number of queries related to US politics making the daily top 3 due to this year’s Presidential Election. Here is the list of the most popular ones from last month: 

  • Amy Coney Barrett - 9/25/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
  • Presidential debate - 9/27/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
  • Debate - 9/28/2020 - 5,000,000+ queries
  • Presidential debate - 9/28/2020- 5,000,000+ queries
  • Presidential debate - 9/29/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
  • Trump - 9/30/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries

The announcement of Amy Coney Barrett as the Supreme Court nominee drove queries on the 25th. Then, the topic of the Presidential debate really motivated people to query Google as debate-related keywords stayed on Google Trends’ top 3 for three days straight. Knowing that this year’s Presidential debate didn’t have as many viewers as the one in 2016 did (73 million vs. 84 million viewers), we pulled charts to see if the search volume levels followed the same pattern.

presidential debate 5 years
Looking at the past 5 year trend on “presidential debate”, the 2020 timeframe actually had higher search volume. We then researched the trend for “debate” over the past 5 years.

debate 5 years

Looking at this phrase’s 5 year trend, we saw that the 2016 Presidential debate drove more query volume than this years.

When we looked at data from 2004 to present on each of those phrases, the 2012 debate was the winner in terms of search volume.

presidential debate all timedebate all time

McDonald’s Celebrity Meals

Last month, McDonald’s revitalized their celebrity meals program and announced their first one since Michael Jordan’s in 1992.  

  • Travis Scott McDonald's - 9/8/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries

Supported with TV commercials, Travis Scott’s favorite Mikey D’s order made the top most queried phrases on September 8th. This phrase was the first one that fit into the AMP Team’s category of “Food” since last year when the restaurant chain WingStop was giving out free wings on July 29th. We’re fascinated when marketing a new promotion gets enough momentum to drive people to search for more information about it. We’ll keep an eye on Google Trends to see if other McDonald’s celebrity meals are as popular. 

Video Games

There were two big news releases about video game systems in September 2020.

  • PS5 pre-order - 9/16/2020 - 5,000,000+ queries
  • Xbox Series X pre order - 9/21/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries

The PS5 has made the top 3 queries in both April and June of 2020. The Xbox made its debut last month. Without knowledge of query volume from previous months, you can see that the more popular system is Sony’s Playstation. Brands should closely inspect the amount of search volume their products receive as compared to their competitors as a part of their own brand health analysis.

The NFL Returns And So Do The Queries

In August, we were amazed at the query volume the NBA was getting and wondered how it would fare once the NFL came back to playing live games. Well, the league’s return certainly made an impact into our daily collection. Here are the top phrases across the month:

  • NFL - 9/9/2020 - 5,000,000+ queries
  • Eagles - 9/12/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
  • Tom Brady - 9/13/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
  • NFL Scores - 9/13/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
  • Dallas Cowboys - 9/13/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
  • Steelers - 9/14/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
  • Broncos - 9/14/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
  • Thursday Night Football - 9/17/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
  • Patriots - 9/20/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
  • Packers - 9/27/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
  • Chiefs - 9/28/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries

The term “NFL” has seen steady search volume growth since 2004:

Nfl

With no pre-season games and other sports competing for attention, the phrase “NFL” underperformed last month when compared to September 2019. We’re wondering if we are seeing a shift in search behavior this year. We’re keeping an eye on this trend line to see if October 2020 will outperform September 2020 as fans get more acclimated to this weird season.

On the NBA side of the sports keyword universe, the AMP team felt nostalgic to see the battle between the Celtics and Lakers in the daily top three keywords.

  • Celtics - 9/3/2020 - 500,000+ queries
  • Lakers - 9/4/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
  • Celtics - 9/5/2020 - 200,000+ queries
  • Lakers - 9/6/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
  • Celtics - 9/7/2020 - 500,000+ queries
  • Celtics - 9/9/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
  • Celtics - 9/11/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
  • Celtics - 9/17/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
  • Lakers - 9/18/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
  • Celtics - 9/19/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
  • Lakers - 9/22/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
  • Lakers - 9/22/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
  • Lakers - 9/24/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
  • Celtics - 9/25/2020 - 500,000+ queries
  • Lakers - 9/26/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
  • Lakers -9/29/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries

Although they didn’t meet each other on the court during the 2020 NBA playoffs, it was nice to see them competing in Google Trends. (Beat L.A. in 2021!)

Thanks for reading. If you liked this article, we invite you to learn more about our SEO services.

Until next month.

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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 2022. 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+ (sometimes 100,000+). 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 2022 - A Summary Looking through the top queried phrases by day last month, there were a few topics that surfaced as macro trends. As primary elections happened across different states, candidates and ballot questions landed in the top 3 daily queries.  The NFL preseason stoked interest in fans as they searched for their favorite team in Google results. The other big sports topic was Champions League soccer and we’ll present the sheer number of queries related to that European-centric subject. Lastly, there were TV and films that people wanted to learn more about and we’ll examine which ones were the most popular.   A Doodle and a Travolta Curiosity These two phrases were the only two that made the elusive 10 million plus club last month. Anna Mani - 8/22/2022 - 10,000,000+ queries Google changed their logo on August 23rd to celebrate “the 104th birthday of Indian physicist and meteorologist Anna Mani, one of the country’s first female scientists.”  You can read more about her on their post. We tend to see interesting Doodles get top query status as the logo is hyperlinked to a result page tied to a keyword - in this case, “Anna Mani”.  The second phrase is a bit of a head scratcher but it’s not unprecedented.  John Travolta - 8/8/2022 - 10,000,000+ queries On August 8th, Olivia Newton-John passed away and the news sent people to Google to search. When we first looked at Google's Daily Search Trends, it was her name that was the top query. From our experience, it takes 24 hours for the report to finalize.  We have seen queries shift or change completely when we revisit the report after that 24 hour period. When we looked back at the daily top 3 for August 8th on August 10th, the phrase above replaced the Olivia Newton-John query and it was the top queried phrase of the day.  The other surprising thing was there were no Olivia Newton-John related phrases in the top 3 at all.   SInce we have been collecting this data for years now, we recalled this same sort of phenomena happening when Kelly Preston, John Travolta's wife, died in 2020.  Here’s the top phrase from July 12th of that year: John Travolta - 7/12/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries Again, there are no queries related to Kelly Preston in the daily top three of that day.  The phrase that was reported was John Travolta’s name.  The AMP team is not sure what to make of this reporting shift. It doesn’t make sense that his name would be a higher queried phrase than either Olivia’s or Kelly’s.  It does make us wonder what kind of query consolidation is happening as the Daily Search Trends report gets finalized.  Is there a knowledge graph consideration? Does the weight of the John Travolta entity make the report combine related terms underneath it?  It’s odd, for sure, and for it to happen twice in the last two years is odder.  Pet Holidays Did you know that August has two days that celebrate two of the most popular household pets?  We didn’t either. CAT - 8/7/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries National Dog Day - 8/26/2022 - 200,000+ queries On International Cat Day, Google implemented a search result “Easter Egg” where the result page for the query “cat”  was altered with animation.   Although dogs are certainly more popular than cats nationwide, the enhanced result page helped to drive more search queries for cats on their special day this year.   Martin vs. Tolkien and Other Entertainment Every month, TV show and movie queries make the daily top 3.  AMP likes looking for these phrases to figure out how large the audience is for each.  Here are the top movie related keywords from August 2022: Batgirl - 8/2/2022 - 200,000+ queries Prey - 8/3/2022 - 200,000+ queries Prey - 8/5/2022 - 500,000+ queries Orphan: First Kill - 8/18/2022 - 200,000+ queries So, the Batgirl query is a bit of an anomaly since the volume behind it is related to the decision to never release this movie by Warner Bros. People really wanted to know where they could see the latest installment of the Predator franchise, Prey (Hint: Hulu & Disney+) Lastly, the horror film, Orphan: First Kill also received a top 3 query phrase placement on the 18th a day before its release date. A couple of non-epic fantasy TV shows made our collection. They include a new series about an established character and an awards show:   Wednesday Netflix - 8/17/2022 - 100,000+ queries VMAs 2022 - 8/28/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Netflix is producing a TV series about Wednesday Addams, a character from the fictional Addams Family.  A trailer for the show was released on the 17th.  Also, The MTV Video Music Awards still stir a buzz and search interest in this year’s show drove more than a million queries on the day it aired. As we alluded to in the previous section, the biggest news for the TV audience was the release of 2 anticipated fantasy shows last month: House of Dragon - 8/21/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Rings of Power - 8/31/2022 - 200,000+ queries From the query volume, it appears that the Game of Thrones prequel series is more popular than the Lord of the Rings prequel series. We’ll keep monitoring to see which show’s season finale makes the daily top 3.  Elections and Federal Acts With the first wave of elections this year, we saw some queries related to US politics with high volumes last month, if only for a day.  Liz Cheney - 8/15/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Harriet Hageman - 8/16/2022 - 500,000+ queries Alaska primary 2022 Results - 8/16/2022 - 200,000+ queries Mary Peltola - 8/31/2022 - 500,000+ queries On the 16th, U.S. representative for Wyoming Liz Cheney lost in the Republican primary to Harriet Hageman.The Alaska primary results were also popular as it led to Sarah Palin loss to Mary Petola in the special election to replace the late Rep. Don Young.  The other topics in this category were related to the Kansas special election and two measures moving forward in the Federal government. Kansas abortion amendment - 8/2/2022 - 500,000+ queries Inflation Reduction Act - 8/7/2022 - 200,000+ queries Student loans - 8/23/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Voters in Kansas decided to keep abortion legal in the state.  The Inflation Reduction Act getting voted into law and details of the student loan forgiveness program drove people to search.    August 2022’s Sports-Related Queries Do you know what gets keywords related to the NFL back into Google’s daily search trends?  The preseason. Raiders - 8/4/2022 - 500,000+ queries NFL - 8/4/2022 - 500,000+ queries Patriots - 8/11/2022 - 200,000+ queries 49ers - 8/12/2022 - 500,000+ queries Zach Wilson - 8/12/2022 - 500,000+ queries Steelers - 8/13/2022 - 500,000+ queries Dallas Cowboys - 8/13/2022 - 500,000+ queries Patriots - 8/19/2022 - 200,000+ queries 49ers - 8/20/2022 - 200,000+ queries 49ers - 8/25/2022 - 200,000+ queries Packers - 8/25/2022 - 200,000+ queries Dallas Cowboys - 8/26/2022 - 200,000+ queries Chicago Bears - 8/27/2022 - 200,000+ queries Steelers - 8/28/2022 - 500,000+ queries Did your favorite team make the list?  If so, you’re in good (large) company.  Major League Baseball’s season is still going on and a couple of phrases were  Juan Soto - 8/1/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Field of Dreams Game 2022 - 8/11/2022 - 500,000+ queries Juan Soto was included in a major trade between the Washington Nationals and the San Diego Padres.  The new featured game that takes place near a corn field also drove people to search for more information about it. If you didn’t think European soccer was popular in the USA, think again. Fulham vs Liverpool - 8/6/2022 - 200,000+ queries Everton vs Chelsea - 8/6/2022 - 200,000+ queries West Ham vs Man City - 8/7/2022 - 200,000+ queries Real Madrid - 8/9/2022 - 500,000+ queries Real Madrid - 8/13/2022 - 500,000+ queries Chelsea vs Tottenham - 8/14/2022 - 500,000+ queries Liverpool vs Crystal Palace - 8/15/2022 - 200,000+ queries Leeds United vs. Chelsea - 8/21/2022 - 200,000+ queries Man United vs Liverpool - 8/22/2022 - 500,000+ queries Champions League draw - 8/24/2022 - 500,000+ queries Liverpool vs Bournemouth - 8/27/2022 - 500,000+ queries Some members of the AMP team have a theory that online sports betting has increased the visibility of the Champions League in this country.  Looking at the phrases that are match-related where both teams are included, the checking of scores may be a reason for this query volume. Finally, Serena Williams’s progress in her last U.S. Open drove people to learn more.  She announced her retirement earlier last month.  Serena Williams - 8/29/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Other Topics Worthy of Mention Working with CPG brands, we monitor search queries for them to keep check on negative sentiment.  You hate to see it, but recalls can wreak havoc for a brand.  August 2022 was not a good month for Capri Sun Group Holding: Capri Sun recall - 8/15/2022 - 200,000+ queries People were looking to the skies with the full moon and the Aurora Borealis on their minds last month: Full moon August 2022 - 8/9/2022 - 200,000+ queries Northern Lights - 8/17/2022 - 200,000+ queries They kept thinking about those skies in anticipation of our continuing mission to the moon Artemis launch - 8/28/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Maybe someday that rocket will blast off. Thanks for reading. If you liked this article, we utilize search trends data for all of our clients and we invite you to learn more about our SEO services.

AMP Agency’s Top Trends of Fall 2022 Predictions Report   AMP Agency has published another report as a part of their Search Insights service. This report is available for download and provides consumer and audience insights to help inform your marketing and business decisions for the Autumn season. AMP Agency’s SEO Supervisor Kevin Davis dug deep into search query data to gather useful insights for this report. “We learned a lot from producing the Summer Trends report.  Using the tools available to us, we were able to not only find products, events, and activities relevant to this time of year but also predict the ones that will be very popular this year. Looking back at query data for the past 4 years, you can see increases in volume that we feel is a good indicator of interest in the future.  I am excited to share our findings in this report.”  The Top Trends of Fall 2022 report has insights on 40 topics across 8 different categories including holidays, home decor, and food & drink.  The data presented in the report is pulled straight from Google’s Keyword Planner (US only) and is paired with our analysis of why we think the topic will increase in popularity this Autumn. Download our 2022 Fall Trends report and learn more about our seasonable predictions for this coming season.

  • 2 min read
  • September 8, 2022