'Coronavirus' is, unsurprisingly, Australia's top Google search of 2020

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Google has released a mid-year update on Australia’s search trends, and the data from 2020's first six months provides some interesting insights into our collective fears, questions and curiosities as we all try to navigate one of history's most challenging years.

As you might’ve guessed, ‘coronavirus’ was the most searched topic in Australia over the first six months of 2020, well and truly dwarfing all other terms. For example, in March, search interest in the pandemic was more than four times greater than what Google saw for the bushfires in January.

Other topics with the most growth this year provide a snapshot into Aussies coming to grips with the new normal – we’re looking for information on social distancing, panic buying, quarantine and… Zoom video calls.

The virus has also dominated our questions since the beginning of the year, with ‘how many cases of coronavirus in Australia?’ taking the number one spot.

Questions related to coronavirus account for 15 of our top 20 searches this year – we’ve been searching for answers about the symptoms of Covid-19, where it started and when it will end.

Other questions on our mind during the pandemic have included Australians asking how to make hand sanitiser, where to buy toilet paper and when does the JobKeeper payment end.

In an already tumultuous year, searches for the Black Lives Matter movement have also seen a surge in growth year-on-year, fuelled by renewed global protests and the death of George Floyd.

Searching for DIY and distraction

Not everything is so bleak though. The data shows searches for Animal Crossing made it into the top 10 – a game for Nintendo Switch that released in March and perhaps couldn’t have come at a better time.

As for other entertainment that captured our attention, Netflix's Tiger King and Joe Exotic were trending searches, but beating those two queries out, we really wanted answers about Carole Baskin.

Google’s search trends also show that Aussies have been looking to get away from the screens and back to more peaceful pursuits – the results show a 10-year high for searches related to craft and gardening, and the second highest peak on record for meditation.

These searches don’t reflect the phrases with the highest search volume overall, but rather show which search terms have had the biggest growth in traffic in the past six months.

Jasmine Gearie
Ecommerce Editor

Jasmine Gearie was previously an Ecommerce Editor at TechRadar Australia, with a primary focus on helping readers find the best mobile and NBN plans. During her time with TechRadar, she also reported on important telco news in Australia, and helped track down tech deals to help readers save money.