If 2020 seems like a blur, it was. Amid the backdrop of a global pandemic, ensuing lockdowns, and an election year, dozens of competing narratives overlapped to provide nothing short of information overload.
To help visualize this roller coaster, Axios is out with their fourth annual Google Trends chart.
“We have never seen a year like this in Google Trends history,” said Google data editor, Simon Rogers.
“These were huge stories that changed how we search.”
Since “coronavirus” and “elections” were the dominant themes, they were omitted from the analysis – and instead far more specific search terms were used such as “masks,” “Anthony Fauci,” “absentee ballots” and “Joe Biden.”
Between the lines: The chart again reveals how short Americans’ attention span can be, with surges in Google searches often lasting only a week for a given topic.
When “coronavirus” and “elections” are excluded, the death of Kobe Bryant generated the largest spike in searches of any other single news event – though it garnered just 10% of the search volume of those primary topics.
According to Rogers, searches related to unemployment, hunger and food were higher than they’ve ever been, while a search for “elections” around November 3 overshadoweed even coronavirus – the latter of which remained of high interest for longer.
See for yourself below: