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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.

Related Posts

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 April 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. Top Trending Keywords - April 2022 Overview Last month, we only had one phrase that was queried over 10 million times, according to Google Trends. We’re not sure if “April Showers brings less Unified Search Interest” is the new hip saying but you’ve read it first, for sure.We did see queries across the typical topics: Entertainment, Holidays, Politics.  We’ll delve into all of those phrases.  Oh yeah, and a billionaire decided to buy a social network so we’ll examine the timeline of that topic. Finally, since there were so many and they were spread over five distinct subcategories, we are doing a deep dive into the keywords related to sports.  Those live events certainly capture the attention of Google users.   Climate Change Awareness In coordination with Earth Day, Google changed their logo with a Doodle that linked to search results for the following phrase: Climate Change - 4/21/2022 - 10,000,000+ queries SInce the inception of Google Trends, the search interest for this phrase has never been as high as it was last month. Google has used its Doodle program to bring attention to other topics in the past. We wonder if search interest in this topic will continue to increase in future months and years.   No One Was Slapped At The Grammys After we reported that Will Smith broke Google Trends in March 2022, the AMP team thought there may be a spike in interest in other awards shows. Check out the phrases attached to the Grammys: Grammys 2022 - 4/2/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Olivia Rodrigo - 4/3/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries The awards show received a respectable number of queries and congrats to Olivia Rodrigo on her wins.  Let’s look at the historical data for this awards show: Looking at the past five years, the search interest in this year’s Grammys was a part of a downward trend.  There appears to be no effect from the Oscars.  We do like the small spike in the chart that is connected to when nominees are announced.   Top Movie Queries Last Month What films drove people to search in April 2022?  Here’s the list we collected: Doctor Strange 2 - 4/6/2022 - 200,000+ queries Sonic 2 - 4/7/2022 - 500,000+ queries Thor: Love and Thunder - 4/18/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Don't Worry Darling - 4/27/2022 - 500,000+ queries The only phrase that is attached to a movie that premiered in theaters from this list is “Sonic 2”.  The rest are associated with a trailer that was made available online. If interest in a trailer is high, we feel that it’s a good indication that anticipation for the film is high.   Bonus query - the final episodes of the Netflix series Ozark were made available on the 29th: Ozark - 4/29/2022 - 500,000+ queries   Holidays And Natural Occurrences Interest in holidays is strong and we typically see the most popular holidays get queried on the day they occur or when the celebration starts.  Here are the phrases that we collected last month: Passover - 4/14/2022 - 200,000+ queries Happy Easter! - 4/17/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Earth Day - 4/21/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries It’s clear that the Google Doodle related to climate change dwarfed the search interest in Earth Day.  In this five year view, the interest is in a bit of a down trend. The spike in the middle of the chart shows that search interest was at its highest in April 2020. Some people may not think it’s a great holiday but Tax Day in the US was on the 18th this year and here was the phrase associated with that day: TurboTax - 4/18/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Procrastinators unite!  Or not. Or whenever you get to it. We saw that the full moon in April drove people to search and another weather related query made the daily top 3: Full moon April 2022 - 4/14/2022 - 200,000+ queries Severe thunderstorm warning - 4/11/2022 - 200,000+ queries Winter is officially over - we did not see any Winter Storm Warning queries in April!   Politics As Usual We had a few queries related to politics, both domestically and abroad, that made our collection from last month: Senator Dianne Feinstein - 4/14/2022 - 200,000+ queries Rudy Giuliani - 4/20/2022 - 500,000+ queries Madison Cawthorn - 4/22/2022 - 200,000+ queries French election - 4/23/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Sen. Dianne Feinstein made the list because of news stories that she is no longer mentally fit for Congress.  Rudy Giuliani made an appearance on The Masked Singer TV show, which was spoiled back in February.  The North Carolina congressman made headlines on the 22nd and the presidential election in France captured enough attention of the US audience that it was queried over a million times on the 23rd.   Elon Musk  Not sure if you’ve heard but Elon Musk announced that he was going to buy Twitter and then had his offer accepted - all in the month of April 2022. Elon Musk - 4/4/2022 - 500,000+ queries Elon Musk - 4/25/2022 - 5,000,000+ queries At the time of this writing, the deal has not been finalized but all of AMP is watching closely to see what changes may come to this social media platform and its ads policies.   Just a Month About Sports Since people have been allowed to watch events in stadiums and arenas, sports-related searches are back with a vengeance. We did see a dip in the number of phrases that had sports intent between April 2020 through the summer of 2021.  Last month, we saw a good number of phrases that could be grouped to tell a few stories. Check out the timeline of the NCAA Basketball Tournaments: Final Four - 4/1/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries UConn women's basketball - 4/1/2022 - 500,000+ queries Duke - 4/2/2022 - 5,000,000+ queries Duke vs UNC - 4/2/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries UConn women's basketball - 4/3/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries NCAA basketball - 4/4/2022 - 5,000,000+ queries The Masters were back in a big way thanks to Tiger Woods and newcomer Scottie Scheffler.  See how people searched over six days in April: Tiger Woods - 4/5/2022 - 500,000+ queries Masters leaderboard - 4/6/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Tiger Woods - 4/7/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Scottie Scheffler - 4/8/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Scottie Scheffler - 4/9/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Scottie Scheffler - 4/10/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Did you know European Football is popular in the US, at least from a search perspective? Check out this list of league and team names: Champions League - 4/5/2022 - 500,000+ queries Real Madrid - 4/6/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Europa League - 4/7/2022 - 500,000+ queries Liverpool - 4/10/2022 - 500,000+ queries Read Madrid - 4/12/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Man City - 4/13/2022 - 200,000+ queries Liverpool vs. Man United - 4/19/2022 - 500,000+ queries Liverpool - 4/24/2022 - 200,000+ queries Champions League - 4/26/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Real Madrid - 4/26/2022 - 200,000+ queries Real Madrid - 4/30/2022 - 200,000+ queries NBA playoffs kicked off in April 2022 and the queries related to it rolled from the 13th through the 29th: Pelicans - 4/13/2022 - 500,000+ queries Hornets - 4/13/2022 - 500,000+ queries Clippers - 4/15/2022 - 500,000+ queries Hawks - 4/15/2022 - 500,000+ queries Warriors - 4/16/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Timberwolves - 4/16/2022 - 500,000+ queries Bulls - 4/17/2022 - 500,000+ queries Suns - 4/17/2022 - 500,000+ queries Warriors - 4/18/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Bulls - 4/20/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries 76ers - 4/20/2022 - 500,000+ queries Miami Heat - 4/22/2022 - 200,000+ queries Celtics - 4/23/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Bulls - 4/23/2022 - 500,000+ queries Pelicans - 4/24/2022 - 500,000+ queries Jimmy Butler - 4/24/2022 - 200,000+ queries Celtics - 4/25/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Warriors - 4/27/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Joel Embiid - 4/28/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Memphis Grizzlies - 4/29/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Lastly, American Gridiron Football made some appearances in the daily top 3. The first phrase being a new league and the NFL draft. USFL - 4/16/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries NFL Draft - 4/27/2022 - 5,000,000+ queries 2022 NFL Draft - 4/28/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Phew - that was a lot but each subsection had its own little journey.  You could see how the NBA playoffs are unfolding by just reading through the top queries.  Go Celtics! 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. Until next month.

“If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that social actually is all around.”  Okay yes, I did steal that line from one of my favorite Holiday movies, Love Actually. But it’s true– elements of social networking are integrated into many of the products we consume every day, even if it’s not as overt as platforms like Facebook or Twitter.  Take Venmo for example. You open up the app to pay your roommate for your share of utilities and catch yourself scrolling through a feed of your friends’ recent transactions, decoding emojis to figure out what they’ve been up to. At its core, this is social networking, and it’s a feature of Venmo’s payment platform that has set it apart from its competitors like Zelle.   By adding a social component to something like a payment platform, Venmo created a space for not just payments to be exchanged, but social interactions. As humans, we intrinsically crave these connections and interactions that remind us we’re not alone. Leveraging this insight has put Venmo at a competitive advantage, as with many other brands who have taken the opportunity to create a social experience around their product. Why? Because nothing can compete with the power of a strong community around a product.    Case Studies: Products with Social Components & Where Brands Can Lean In There is a range of products with social components baked in. Some were created with social at the forefront, while others added social components as a feature to an existing product. Some have opportunities for external brands to join the conversation and leverage their niche communities, while others are a closed community of consumers. We’ll dive into two case studies to show the ways this has played out for two popular brands: Strava and Spotify.    Strava  Strava calls itself a social fitness network. The app allows users to track their activities and offers a range of analysis tools, from miles ran to calories burned and so on. But they didn’t stop there– Strava integrated a social experience into the commonly found fitness tracking app by allowing users to post their workouts to a feed, follow friends, and comment to give “kudos” (likes) to other users’ workouts.  Similar to other social platforms, users find themselves following IRL friends and acquaintances, but also their idols and professional athletes to get a glimpse into their training. The app allows users to join clubs, such as a running club or group of members training for the event, and invites them to take part in challenges such as “complete a 5K in May” or “log 250 minutes of activity”.  Brand Involvement  Clubs and challenges are the best way for brands to get involved in the conversation on Strava. A brand can create a club like Brooks Run Club or Nuun Hydration to connect athletes who identify with these brands to each other. Another option is for brands to host a challenge such as Lululemon’s Move and Stay Connected challenge, which was created during the height of the pandemic in 2020.    Spotify  Spotify serves a very straightforward purpose to consumers– to access music and podcasts. With that said, they have done a great job at weaving in social components that feel additive to the experience of using the app.  When you sign up for Spotify, you create a profile with your name and a profile photo. You’re prompted to connect your account to Facebook, and recommended users you may know and artists you may like to follow. Once you’re following other users, you can check your “friend activity” on the desktop app, view their profiles and save their playlists, and even create co-authored playlists with other users.  In addition to these social components within the app experience itself, Spotify has mastered the art of integrating with other social networks and encouraging users to share the music and podcasts they’re listening to on those external platforms. For instance, the notorious Spotify Wrapped campaign is practically designed for sharing on Instagram Stories. But even on a normal day, the regular social sharing integration in the Spotify app that allows users to share what they’re listening to on social is seamless.  Brand Involvement  There are a handful of ways that brands can get involved in the conversation on Spotify. Perhaps one of the most fun and creative ways is to create a brand profile with curated playlists like McDonald's and Gymshark have successfully done. Brands may also buy a variety of ad placements in the Spotify app, including audio and video ads served to listeners who use the free version of the app, and also podcast ads.    Below are a couple of questions to ask when thinking about how you can apply this to your brand or product:   Can a social component be added to my product in a way that adds value to the overall experience?  A social component needs to build upon your existing product, and it needs to feel natural as if the purpose of the product supports the need for a social component and the experience is additive to the product.  There should also be a clear reason to create a space for consumer-to-consumer interactions. For example, perhaps you can see that these engagements are already happening on another social platform, like a Facebook Group or a Reddit thread.    Can my brand join the conversation or have a presence in a social component of an existing product, like Spotify or Strava?  If there’s a social component of a product that feels like a perfect fit for your brand, there may be an opportunity to establish a presence in that community. However, it’s important to approach these opportunities thoughtfully and strategically, because you will be under the microscope of a niche community. Additionally, you need to be careful that you’re joining a conversation where brands are welcome. For instance, communities like Reddit exist for user-to-user interactions, and brands can be shunned away from the platform.     With this all in mind, my hope is that next time you’re deciding which social platforms to leverage for an upcoming project or campaign, you may think outside the box about social media and look at the non-traditional, yet intrinsically social, platforms at your disposal. 

A buzzing topic in the world of data security and protection is the upcoming Google Chrome changes. That’s right, we will soon be living in a cookieless world. Technology solutions in the current landscape are optimizing their efforts much before the implementation as they’d like to get well-acquinated with what the future of advertising may look like.   “We want to be early adopters and hand-raisers as a part of these cookieless and new ID solutions,” said Meghan Galligan, Stop & Shop’s director of digital marketing. (Source: AdExchanger) AMP Agency partnered with Stop & Shop and Dstillery to learn more about how to navigate through an ever-changing cookieless landscape.   Read the news here.