Year in Search: EPL, US elections, and Coovid-19 among top trending searches in 2020




Google has released the ‘Year in Search’ lists for the year 2020. The lists are compilations of all searches done in the year for countries in the world, including Kenya. Data from Google Trends is used to build the top trending lists of searches. The lists are categorised into trending general searches, local and global personalities, deaths and health searches. Other categories include trending movies and TV sh ows, sports, ‘how to’, and ‘what is’ searches.

Speaking during the event, Dorothy Ooko, Head of Communications and Public Affairs for Africa said: “The 2020 Year in Search lists not only reveal the most popular trends from the past 12 months, but also give insight into the biggest events in the news, politics, sports, entertainment and popular lockdown trends. As people continue to look for information in new and different ways, Google Search keeps evolving to make the world’s information accessible and useful to all.”

English Premier League (EPL) and US Elections were the number one and two trending Search queries respectively. Kenyans admire football more than any other sport. Search queries on football clubs in English Premier League, Serie A, UEFA Champions League, Europa League, and La Liga dominated the Trends. People searched to know the league standings, fixtures, and results of their favourite football clubs. Kenyans keenly followed the US elections – comparing with their own and drew comical similarities between the two. They searched for updates and results for both President Donald Trump and Democrat Presidential nominee, Joe Biden(now President-elect).

Kenyans also turned to Google Search for tips on how to stay safe and healthy amidst the pandemic. They searched for coronavirus in Kenya, the latest statistics, symptoms, prevention measures, and vaccines. When Google published Doodles for two weeks to thank coronavirus frontline workers and helpers, they joined to thank coronavirus helpers. When the Tanzanian government allegedly stopped publishing the coronavirus cases, declaring the country ‘coronavirus free’, it caught the attention of Kenyans. They searched for Tanzania’s coronavirus cases as the World Health Organization expressed concern over the government’s strategy on COVID-19.

Kenyans were keen to know the reopening dates for schools, making it the fifth trending search query. There were conflicting reports about the reopening dates and which students would resume in-person classes. During this time, Kenyans relied on Search for the latest news on when schools would be reopening.

Boris Johnson and coronavirus in Italy trended at number seven and eight respectively. The UK Prime Minister tested positive for the virus in April while Italy witnessed high COVID-19 deaths, becoming one of the most hit countries in Europe.

Ninth on the list was the impeachment of Governor Anne Waiguru. Kenyans turned to Search to find out what the ‘irreconcilable’ differences were between the Kirinyaga Governor and the Members of County Assembly leading to her impeachment. Kenyans searched for the London Marathon after it was confirmed that world record holder, Eliud Kipchoge, would participate. He had broken the 2-hour marathon mark in 2019 and their support for the renowned athlete made them search for details on the marathon including timing, results, and his previous performance.

Below are the Trending Searches by Kenyans in 2020:

Top 10 Trending General Queries

  1. English Premier League
  2. US elections
  3. Thank you coronavirus helpers
  4. Coronavirus in Kenya
  5. Schools reopening in Kenya
  6. Tanzania coronavirus
  7. Boris Johnson
  8. Coronavirus in Italy
  9. Waiguru impeachment
  10. London marathon

Top 10 Trending Local Personalities

  1. Miguna Miguna
  2. Babu Owino
  3. Raphael Tuju
  4. Joan Kubai
  5. Mutahi Kagwe
  6. Oscar Sudi
  7. Mercy Mwangangi
  8. Willis Raburu
  9. Moses Kuria
  10. George Magoha

Top 10 Trending Global Personalities

  1. Joe Biden
  2. Kim Jong-Un
  3. Kamala Harris
  4. Boris Johnson
  5. Mike Oliver
  6. Prince Charles
  7. Felicien Kabuga
  8. John Magufuli
  9. Mikel Arteta
  10. Jack Ma

Top 10 Trending Losses

  1. Papa Shirandula
  2. Kobe Bryant
  3. Former President Daniel Moi
  4. Ken Walibora
  5. Kenny Rogers
  6. Chadwick Boseman
  7. Papa Dennis
  8. Naya Rivera
  9. George Floyd
  10. Tecra Muigai

Top 10 Trending Health Queries

  1. Coronavirus
  2. Quarantine
  3. Dexamethasone
  4. Pfizer
  5. Vitamin C
  6. KEMSA
  7. Chloroquine
  8. Asymptomatic
  9. Sanitiser
  10. Ventilator

Top 10 Trending Movies & TV Shows

  1. Money Heist
  2. Maria
  3. Ringo
  4. Extraction
  5. Contagion
  6. Blood and Water
  7. Nazar
  8. Raised by wolves
  9. The Witcher
  10. Cursed

Top 10 Trending Sports Queries

  1. English Premier League
  2. UEFA Champions League
  3. Serie A League
  4. Europa League
  5. La Liga
  6. Bruno Fernandes
  7. FA Cup
  8. NBA
  9. Willian Borges
  10. Kai Havertz

Top 10 Trending General “How to” Queries

  1. How to file nil returns
  2. How to open a pdf file
  3. How to check NHIF status
  4. How to write a report
  5. How to play chess
  6. How to style braids
  7. How to register a company in Kenya
  8. How to clear from CRB
  9. How to download music
  10. How to plant onions

Top 10 Trending Tech “How to” Queries

  1. How to fill Tpad online
  2. How to create a website
  3. How to connect a phone to TV
  4. How to make my electric plate cooker work
  5. How to take a screenshot on a laptop
  6. How to create a Paypal account
  7. How to open bin file
  8. How to create a YouTube channel
  9. How to save photos on Google
  10. How to create an email account

Top 10 Trending “What is” Queries

  1. What is coronavirus
  2. What is curfew
  3. What is happening in Nigeria
  4. What is Halloween
  5. What is fever
  6. What is BBI
  7. What is my IP
  8. What is entanglement
  9. What is hantavirus
  10. What is quarantine

Google Trends is a publicly available tool that displays relative search volume across geographies, periods, and queries that people want to know about. Google Trends lets you dive deep into what’s popular on the Internet. You can compare search data by time, location, or between queries. It also offers category filtering, top and rising searches, and geographic “heat maps”. The main two categories of searches are: ‘Trending’ and ‘Most Searched’.

  • Trending Searches: The “trending” queries are the searches that had the highest amount of traffic over a specific period.
  • Most Searched/Top searches: What topped Google’s charts? The “most searched” queries are simply the most popular terms for a specific period, ranked in order by volume of searches.
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