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 October 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.
October 2020 - We’re Almost Done With This Year
Here we are, exploring the search trends of the tenth month of this bizarre, tumultuous year. Maybe someday in the future we can look back at these articles and get a good perspective of where we were as a country at this point in time. October started off with a bang when the President contracted COVID-19 and continued with more queries related to politics as the election got closer. There were plenty of sports queries to examine, as well, including ones related to two championships that occurred in October. There were a few holidays (official and unofficial) that drove keyword interest along with some spikes about Daylight Saving Time ending. Lastly, we saw two product names make the top 3 most queried keywords on the day they were released.
The 10 Million Plus Club For October 2020
This month, there was only one Google Doodle driving over 10 million queries in a day (Mary Ann Shadd). The other phrases were driven by news or other events of the day.
- Trump COVID - 10/1/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries
- Eddie Van Halen - 10/6/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries
- Kamala Harris - 10/6/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries
- Mary Ann Shadd - 10/8/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries
- Dak Prescott - 10/11/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries
- Sean Connery - 10/31/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries
As mentioned, the announcement of the President testing positive for COVID-19 drove the max number of queries as reported by Google Trends. The deaths of Eddie Van Halen and Sean Connery also drove users to search their names. Kamala Harris was the top keyword related to the Vice Presidential debate that happened on October 7th. Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott suffered a gruesome compound right ankle fracture and dislocation during a game on the 11th.
A Google Doodle was created for Mary Ann Shadd in honor of what would have been her 197th birthday. She was the first Black female newspaper editor and publisher in North America and fought for abolition and women’s suffrage.
The Number Of Politics Related Keywords Continues To Grow
With the election coming up on November 3rd, the politics-related phrases increased again as compared to September and August. Here are the most important ones from last month:
- Trump - 10/1/2020 - 5,000,000+ queries
- Hope Hicks - 10/1/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
- Kayleigh McEnany - 10/5/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
- Pence Fly - 10/7/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
- 25th Amendment - 10/8/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
- Trump town hall - 10/14/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
- Hunter Biden - 10/14/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
- AOC - 10/20/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
- Debate tonight - 10/21/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
- Amy Coney Barrett - 10/26/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
Excluding the two politics-related terms that made the 10 million+ club, this list contains the keywords that were queried the most in October. COVID-19 made its way through the White House early in the month, with the President and Hope Hicks being the first ones to get it. Then, Kayleigh McEnany tested positive for the virus. The fly that landed on Mike Pence’s head drove people to search as did the House seeking to invoke the 25th Amendment, which allows a president's Cabinet or Congress to intervene when a president is unable to conduct the duties of the office. The Trump town hall was queried more than the Biden one. On that same day, a New York Post article about Hunter Biden’s business dealings piqued the interest of Google searchers. AOC joined Twitch on the 20th and the last presidential debate was a hot topic. Finally, Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice, which was almost a month to the day she was announced as a nominee (Amy Coney Barrett - 9/25/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries)
For marketers, it is important to understand how much attention politics draws right before the election. For marketers trying to get their messages across, it may provide an opportunity with an increase in traffic to news sites.
Holidays, Time, and Blue Moons (not the beer)
October had a good number of holidays that made our keyword list. Columbus Day is still a thing, so people are searching about it. Also, Amazon Prime Day got moved from July to last month because of the pandemic.
- Columbus Day 2020 - 10/11/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
- Amazon Prime Day - 10/12/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
Let’s see if the shift in dates had an effect on the search popularity of “amazon prime day”
The interest on that phrase is down from July 2019 but the peak occurred in 2018.
Halloween drove searches but so did the other phenomenon (both natural and man made) that happened at the end of the month.
- Halloween - 10/29/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
- Daylight savings time 2020 - 10/30/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
- Blue moon on Halloween - 10/30/2020 - 200,000+ queries
- Blue moon - 10/30/2020 - 500,000+ queries
- Daylight savings - 10/31/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
Certainly a blue moon that happens on Halloween is interesting and enough people have searched about full moons earlier in the year for those queries to make our list (Example: Strawberry Moon - 6/4/2020 - 500,000+queries) but the subject of Daylight Saving time driving not one but two phrases into the top 3 across two days is odd. It appears that no one cared when we turned the clocks forward back in the spring, but in October, it was a big deal!
There were two popular product releases in October 2020:
- iPhone 12 - 10/13/2020 - 5,000,000+ queries
- Hummer EV - 10/20/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
Now, an electric Hummer was probably a bit of a surprise but certainly any time a new iPhone is released, there is going to be people searching for it. Let’s look at how the 12 compared to other releases.
The peak for “iphone” happened in 2012 with the release of the iPhone 5.
We then took a look at how the most recent models compared to each.
The iPhone 7 is the clear winner when we compared the model search terms with a timeframe of the last 5 years. Is the popularity of the iPhone decreasing? The level of search interest seems to be dwindling.
We Are The Champions
Of the 93 keyword phrases we collected in October 2020, 39 of them were sports related. The NFL made up most of the phrases but we thought we’d point out a few terms of other sports.
- Lomachenko vs Lopez - 10/16/2020 - 500,000+ queries
- Khabib vs Gaethje - 10/23/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
- Clemson football - 10/17/2020 - 200,000+ queries
- Clemson football - 10/29/2020 - 500,000+ queries
- Clemson football - 10/31/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
UEFA Champions League Soccer
- Champions League - 10/21/2020 - 500,000+ queries
- Juventus vs Barcelona - 10/28/2020 - 500,000+ queries
It’s important to note that the search interest for sports – even ones that we may not think have mass appeal. We’re waiting until the American Cornhole League keywords start showing up in the daily top 3.
The NBA and MLB had their championship series occur in October. The NBA is certainly more popular from a search perspective.
- Lakers - 10/6/2020 - 5,000,000+ queries
- Lakers - 10/11/2020 - 5,000,000+ queries
- World Series - 10/20/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries
- Dodgers - 10/27/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries
Next month, we’ll report if the NFL’s popularity is continuing to increase. The early data for November suggest it is, but we’ll provide our analysis in December.
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Until next month.