Google’s 2020 Year in Search Says This Is the Time When We Asked “Why”

A city skyline at night.
Google

Every year Google likes to sum up what we as a people searched for most. It breaks down the actors, athletes, news, shows, and general searches we looked at the most. But if this year feels different, then Google’s trends seem to confirm it. According to Google, this is the year we asked “Why?” and then moved forward.

Head to the Google Year in Review page, and it’s no surprise to see what pops up first: coronavirus. It tops both general searches and the news category. But other top results hit home too, like Kobe Bryant and Chadwick Boseman in the Loss section.

But a video Google released alongside the trends drives the point home: the company says this year questions beginning with “Why” were searched more than ever. But not all of our questions were doom and gloom.

This year we wanted to know, “Why is Mars red?” We searched heavily to learn “why is the moon pink.” And according to Google, it wasn’t just the “why” we cared about; it was the “how.” This year we searched “how to” frequently, from “how to foster a dog” to “how to help during coronavirus” and “how to donate blood.”

Changing the world seems to be on our collective minds; Google says we searched “how to change the world” twice as often as “how to go back to normal.” We also searched “how to donate money” twice as often as we searched “how to save money.”

It’s easy to see Google’s 2020 Year in Review search trends and find the doom and gloom. But it’s worth looking through, nonetheless. For every result that seems negative, you can find a positive. And you may find that you weren’t so alone, and you spent your time baking sourdough bread with everyone else.

You can check out Google’s Year in Review at the Google Trends site.

Josh Hendrickson Josh Hendrickson
Josh Hendrickson has worked in IT for nearly a decade, including four years spent repairing and servicing computers for Microsoft. He’s also a smarthome enthusiast who built his own smart mirror with just a frame, some electronics, a Raspberry Pi, and open-source code. Read Full Bio »

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