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 November 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 Presidential Election - A Day-By-Day Examination
Typically, we start these posts with an overview of the month. But last month was different and there’s a good number of topics to examine, so we’re going to jump right in with the first one. As you may have guessed, keywords related to the election drove a larger number of searches last month. Since there was so much volume and each day’s top 3 told a story, we decided to showcase a daily report of the keywords leading up to and after the election.
Day 1 - Sunday, November 1
- Election results - 11/1/2020 - 5,000,000+ queries
- Who is winning the election - 11/1/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
- Whos [sic] winning the election - 11/1/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
Two days before the election, people were already trying to see election results along with understanding who was predicted to win (and querying the same question with and without a contraction)
Day 2 - Monday, November 2
- Election results 2020 - 11/2/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries
- 2020 election results - 11/2/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries
- Who won the election - 11/2/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries
Every one of the top 3 keywords was over the 10 million query mark as the people looked for results before the election day.
Day 3 - Tuesday, November 3
- Election results 2020 - 11/3/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries
- Election results - 11/3/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries
- Election - 11/3/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries
Again, all the top 3 queries had over 10 million queries for the day. Looking at the top 10 keywords, 8 of them were reported to have over the Google Trends high water mark:
...even if 3 of them were “Election”.
Day 4 - Wednesday, November 4
- 2020 election results - 11/4/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries
- 2020 election - 11/4/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
- How many registered voters in Wisconsin - 11/4/2020 - 500,000+ queries
With no declared winner on Wednesday, people continued to search for election results and to check on registered voter numbers in a key battleground state.
Day 5 - Thursday, November 5
- Dale Moss - 11/5/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
- Stacey Abrams - 11/5/2020 - 500,000+ queries
- Putin - 11/5/2020 - 500,000+ queries
By Thursday, people were ready to move on to more pressing issues, like learning more about the guy on The Bachelorette. However, there still remained a few politics-related queries, including Stacey Abrams and Putin. We thought it would be good to report the day in which search behavior revealed when the audience was either ready to move on or had decided there wasn’t any new information worth searching for related to the election.
Day 7 - Saturday, November 7
- Kamala Harris - 11/7/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries
- Trump - 11/7/2020 - 5,000,000+ queries
- Jill Biden - 11/7/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
Jumping ahead to Day 7 when Pennsylvania was called for Biden and politics-related queries made up all positions of the top 3 again, we see that the name of the first woman Vice President got the top spot.
Looking back at the last two years of Google Trends recording and reporting, we’ve never seen a topic drive as much search volume as this election. Taking a look at the all-time charts on the phrase “election” from the tool, you can see that the 2020 was the most searched since January 2004:
To put the search volume into even more context, we looked at the past 12 months and compared “election” with “coronavirus”, which we knew drove tens of millions of queries back in March.
It’s not even close. It’s clear that this year’s election not only drove record turnouts but also record interest in Google search.
Holidays and Shopping
November has a number of different holidays - both official and unofficial. The unofficial ones (Black Friday, Cyber Monday) have been created for holiday shopping. Here are the top phrases related to holidays and shopping.
- Thanksgiving - 11/25/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
- Diwali - 11/13/2020 - 500,000+ queries
- Veterans Day free meals - 11/10/2020 - 500,000+ queries
- Rockefeller Center tree 2020 - 11/17/2020 - 200,000+ queries
For the November holidays, Thanksgiving received the most queries, and the top query for Veterans Day was related to a free emails program. Diwali occurred in November this year and received more search volume than in 2019. Lastly, the Rockefeller Center tree made news on the 17th and it looked like the sad Charlie Brown tree.
The keywords specifically related to shopping that caught our eye are as follows:
- Walmart - 11/11/2020 - 5,000,000+ queries
- Walmart - 11/25/2020 - 5,000,000+ queries
- Black Friday deals - 11/26/2020 - 5,000,000+ queries
- Cyber Monday deals - 11/29/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
We saw in 2019 that Walmart has a strong connection to the beginning of the holiday shopping season. The brand connection to Black Friday is one to be studied. Although last year, there were more brands included in the top 3 searches, only Walmart made the cut in 2020. The query on the 11th was driven by their announcement of having popup centers available for online holiday sales.
On a side note, we were expecting to see “small business saturday” to have more search interest this year given the economic climate we’re in due to the pandemic. The phrase was the fifth most queried term on November 28 with 200,000+ queries. Examining the popularity of this phrase over the five years, the interest level is up from last year but the overall trend is down from its peak in 2016.
In parallel to the SEO team’s research, our social listening practice reported that the number of articles posted about Small Business Saturday increased 33% YoY. We were excited to see that their data connected to the increase that we saw in Google Trends. This type of cross-channel insight is an example of what AMP provides to our clients who are seeking data to make business decisions.
Pay Per View Boxing and The NFL
Keywords related to sports always make up a good portion of the top 3 queries of any month. The one sports topic we wanted to explore was the pay per view boxing event that featured Mike Tyson.
- Tyson vs Jones - 11/27/2020 -5,000,000+ queries
- Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones - 11/27/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
- Jake Paul - 11/27/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
- Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones - 11/28/2020 - 5,000,000+ queries
- Jake Paul vs Nate Robinson - 11/28/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
This fight generated a large amount of search interest, which we have found predicts the success of the event. The reported revenue for this pay per view event was $80 million from 1.6 million purchases.
One item we teased in last month’s post was our investigation into the popularity of the NFL. It is the most popular of the major sports leagues in the USA. This year’s search volume was lowered a bit because of cancellation of the preseason, but we were theorizing that the search volume would be shifted to the later months of the year and we would see bigger peaks then. Here’s what we found:
Looking at the chart, it appears that the NFL’s search interest is down this year. It was a good lesson for this team to learn that Google Trends partial data predictions need to be verified. It’s clear that the pandemic has affected interest in the NFL as it has with other sports leagues.
Lastly, on a positive note, there were announcements of COVID-19 vaccines from a couple of major pharmaceutical companies:
- Pfizer - 11/9/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
- Moderna stock - 11/16/2020 - 500,000+ queries
The inclusion of “stock” to the Moderna phrase seems to be focusing on a less important effect of their vaccine announcement but we’re not going to dig into that part and keep the vibe positive.
Thanks for reading. If you liked this article, we invite you to learn more about our SEO services.
Until next month.