What Aussies searched for in 2020

Bushfires and coronavirus have dominated 2020 in Australia, but when it comes to the top Google search terms for the year, something else beat both of them to the top of the table – the US election.

The election was probably the most important US election in terms of global security, so Australia’s interest in the lead-up and result is probably understandable.

The US election actually took up two places inside the top 10 search terms, with Trump vs Biden coming in 10th place.

Coronavirus, while missing out on top spot, did have three directly related search terms inside the top 10. Coronavirus finished second, coronavirus symptoms was the fifth-most searched term and coronavirus Victoria was ninth.

Searches for the word Zoom, the online meeting platform, only finished in fourth place because of COVID-19, so that is a more indirect win to the virus.

The bushfires early in the year also made it onto the most searched terms for Australians, with ‘fires near me’ coming in as the eighth most searched term.

The bushfires also rated highly in the top news topics searched on Google with ‘fires near me’ coming in third behind the US election in No.1 and coronavirus in No. 2. Toilet paper made it onto the top 10 news topics searched coming in at No. 5, while the massive explosion in Beirut came in at No. 9.

Perhaps the most telling result comes from the fact that at the top of the 10 recipes most searched on Google this year, a food item didn’t come in at No.1; that honour went to hand sanitiser, which also topped the ‘How to’ searches in Google.

After hand sanitiser, the most searched ‘how to’ terms were how to make a face mask and how to use Zoom. How to apply for Centrelink (seventh) and how to apply for JobKeeper (ninth) also featured prominently.

Here is the full list of what Australians searched for in 2020.

Overall Searches: 

1. US election 

2. Coronavirus 

3. NBA 

4. Zoom 

5. Coronavirus symptoms 

6. Kobe Bryant 

7. Weather tomorrow 

8. Fires near me 

9. Coronavirus Victoria 

10, Trump vs Biden 

News topics: 

1. US election 

2. Coronavirus 

3. Fires near me 

4. Coronavirus Victoria 

5. Toilet paper 

6. NSW fires 

7. Qantas share price 

8. Air quality Melbourne 

9. Beirut explosion 

10. NSW coronavirus

Australian public figures: 

1. Dani Laidley 

2. Celeste Barber 

3. Gladys Berejiklian 

4. George Pell 

5.Quaden Bayles 

6. Pete Evans 

7. Nicola Gobbo 

8. Peter Dutton 

9. Richard Pusey 

10. Ben Cousins 

Global public figures: 

1. Joe Biden 

2. Kim Jong Un 

3. Boris Johnson 

4. Kamala Harris 

5. Tom Hanks 

6. Kanye West 

7. Joe Exotic 

8. Donald Trump 

9. Prince Harry 

10. Carole Baskin 


1. Hand sanitiser 

2. Sourdough bread 

3. Beef Stroganoff 

4. Spaghetti bolognese

5. Donut 

6. Crumpet 

7. Macaron 

8. Anzac cookie 

9. Banana bread 

10. Dalgona coffee 

How to …? 

1. How to make hand sanitiser 

2. How to make a face mask 

3. How to use Zoom 

4. How to get tested for coronavirus 

5. How to make bread 

6. How to make self-raising flour 

7. How to apply for Centrelink 

8. How to buy shares 

9. How to apply for JobKeeper 

10. How to make whipped coffee 


1. DIY hand sanitiser 

2. DIY face mask pattern

3. DIY neck hammock 

4. DIY ventilator 

4. DIY foot scrub 

5. DIY fire pit area 

6. DIY toilet paper

7. DIY pottery kit 

8. DIY antibacterial wipes

9. DIY scrunchie holder 

Are you surprised the US election was the most searched term of 2020?

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Written by Ben Hocking

Ben Hocking is a skilled writer and editor with interests and expertise in politics, government, Centrelink, finance, health, retirement income, superannuation, Wordle and sports.

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