It goes without saying, 2020 has been a tragic year for many of us all around the globe. We’ve all responded to the circumstances and challenges in our own ways. While you may feel like you’ve responded in erratic, unpredictable ways the data might suggest your experiences are not all that unique. What you’ve experienced may be quite common and that should put our minds at ease, knowing you are not alone.
Google Search trends gives us great data and insights about what we are going through and thinking about collectively at any given point in time. COVID-19 has affected our behavior in many ways and that can be seen and measured by our activity online. If you’re a digital marketer or a business owner these insights, could reveal to you opportunities you have not considered.
While many countries have been in lock-down, we’ve been working from home where possible. We’ve been limited in our activities and under various stressors and therefore our priorities have changed.
It’s self-evident that most of the business world has moved online wherever possible. Maybe the tech is making us less human, but it’s all we’ve got right now. Instead of meeting, we’ll use Microsoft Teams, Google Meet or Zoom. They’ve become the new normal. The data can be very interesting if you are looking for more in-depth insights.
For the purpose of this article, we’ll be looking at the USA search data. While we can measure the data, it always needs to be interpreted to understand its meaning.
This was one of the search terms we saw peak early on in the pandemic and it makes sense. As businesses moved to a work from home model the obvious issue that needed to be addressed was communication. Many of us didn’t have much experience with virtual meetings, but it’s quickly become the norm.
Some of us joked, “the trash goes out more than we do”. It’s funny because it’s so true for many singles. In isolation, it makes sense that loneliness is on the rise.
We crave and need human connection and without it we searched Google for the next best thing, dating in cyberspace. As lockdowns have eased somewhat, so too did the search for “Virtual Dating”.
Churchgoers also needed to adjust their Sunday routines looking for an online alternative. What’s interesting here is the trend is almost identical to that of the “Virtual Dating”. This may suggest the social interaction at church and the feeling of a human connection are key ingredients to why many choose to be a part of a local church.
It’s encouraging to see many parents researching options for teaching their kids from home. While many of us probably never contemplated the idea of home-schooling, COVID-19 has forced us to think about alternatives for children’s education.
Hobbies and pastimes
Many of us have been searching for things to do. Maybe we’ve been living busy lives, filled with work, socializing and other activities. Maybe COVID-19 gave us some time to contemplate our lives and explore new hobbies and pastimes. “Puzzles”, “Monopoly” and “Pub Quiz” were also trending so maybe we’ve been looking for safe family fun in the new normal.
When we are stressed or bored at home many of us tend to overeat so it makes sense, we were looking for a home workout to put us back in shape. It’s good to see many of us were motivated by our health and wellbeing. We’ve also been stuck at home with limited options for outside activities so home workouts are a logical choice. Home workouts trended early in the pandemic but have dropped off more recently. Hopefully we all got the workout plans that we needed and are sticking with them (unfortunately that’s unlikely).
There’s been a huge range of searches conducted for home baking with
“Sourdough recipe” being very popular.
Maybe we’ve had the time to bake where our busy lives didn’t allow for it previously. Maybe we see it as a hobby or pastime. Baking can also give us a little sense of achievement and reward, things that we can all do with at times.
Puppies & Kittens
Some of us aren’t filling the need for connection with virtual dating or church, we are looking for pets. The term “puppies” was highly searched in April and ‘kittens’ followed a similar trend. It shows that early on we may have been looking for companionship and we either fulfilled that need or decided against it and moved on.
Get away with Murder
Has being locked up at home with your partner put a bit of strain on your relationship? I’m asking for a friend… Hopefully it’s just the result of budding authors getting to work on the crime novel they always wanted to write.
We’re desperate to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Picnics are a great way to get out and maintain social distancing. The data shows many of us have been thinking about having picnics and the trend seems to be growing recently.
Black Lives Matter
The pandemic isn’t the only motivating factor we’ve experienced in 2020. “Black Lives Matter” trended heavily soon after the death of George Floyd. We are evaluating our lives and our values and it appears that we are growing to be more compassionate for our fellow-humans on one hand while being enraged by their actions on the other hand. The same is true of the election.
The good news is, it’s not all doom and gloom. We were searching for hope, particularly back in May. Hopefully this means people found the hope they were searching for. Who couldn’t do with a little more hope right now?