Here’s What Australians Googled in the First Half of 2020

google searches bob's burgers
Image: 20th Television

Google Search is the first place many of us head when we’ve got questions we want answered. So it’s no surprise the top search terms of 2020 have been dire, reflecting the shocking year we’ve had. From panic-buying to Animal Crossing, Australians were searching far and wide to make some sense of the chaos.

Google has released a list of the most-searched terms for the first six months of 2020. Given it’s been a year mostly dominated by a global pandemic, it’s not surprising most of the terms relate to coronavirus.

The top 20 search terms between January and June 2020 include words relating to new health phrases we’ve learned, social distancing and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and the effects of being told to stay put in the house — quarantine and social isolation.

The rush to buy up everything and anything was also reflected in the top 20. ‘Panic buying’ took out the fourth spot while ‘toilet paper’ and ‘stockpile’ arrived at the 15th and 20th positions, respectively.

But there were some searches that weren’t related to coronavirus. Kobe Bryant’s tragic helicopter-crash death was included, as well as the Black Lives Matter movement, after the horrific death of George Floyd at the hands of a US police officer sparked global demonstrations.

TikTok also rated a mention, given its skyrocketing popularity and subsequent scrutiny over whether its data is accessible by the Chinese government.

The most-searched Google topics in Australia so far in 2020

Google said this data was captured between 1 January and 30 June 2020 and is compared year-on-year with Australian searches.

  1. Coronavirus
  2. Social Distancing
  3. Worldometers
  4. Panic buying
  5. Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)
  6. Black Lives Matter
  7. Pandemic
  8. Hand sanitiser
  9. Animal Crossing
  10. Spanish flu
  11. Kobe Bryant
  12. Zoom Video Communications
  13. Social Isolation
  14. Quarantine
  15. Toilet paper
  16. Furlough
  17. TikTok
  18. Bushfires in Australia
  19. Epidemic
  20. Stockpile

The highest-ranked questions Australians are asking in 2020’s first half

Outside of general search terms, we often use Google for specific questions. Again, 75 per cent of the top 20 questions are related to coronavirus or a direct effect of it. Most questions were related to how coronavirus came about — a question we still don’t know all the answers to — how it spreads, and its effects.

Interestingly, there were some terms completely unrelated to the deadly pandemic that featured in the top results. The top non-coronavirus question was ‘what does simp mean’, in response to a spike in the phrase being used on social media. For the record, the ever-reliable Urban Dictionary defines it as:

Someone who will say anything to please someone, particularly a girl, in the hopes that they will be in good favor with that person.

Australians also searched for TikTok influencer Addison Rae’s age, whether Kim Jong Un was dead, the false rumour that Minecraft was shutting down and the name of the kingdom in Disney’s Tangled.

It was a mixed bag, not unlike 2020 itself.

  1. How many cases of coronavirus in Australia?
  2. What is coronavirus?
  3. How did coronavirus start?
  4. How many people have died from coronavirus?
  5. What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
  6. What does simp mean?
  7. When will coronavirus end?
  8. How long does coronavirus last on surfaces?
  9. Can you get coronavirus twice?
  10. Is coronavirus airborne?
  11. How old is Addison Rae?
  12. How to make hand sanitiser.
  13. Is Kim Jong Un dead?
  14. When is minecraft shutting down?
  15. Where to buy toilet paper.
  16. How is coronavirus spread?
  17. What is the name of the kingdom in Tangled?
  18. Can dogs get coronavirus?
  19. Why is everyone buying toilet paper?
  20. When does jobkeeper end?

Google is not the only search engine used to answer your wildest queries, but it’s by far the most popular. The data is an interesting look into the minds of Australians dealing with the tumultuous year so far.

Have you searched for some of these terms in the past six months? Let us know in the comments.

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