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2020 The Year in “Search” 

NEWS | 18 December 2020
People around the world were full of positive feelings and confidence in entering the new decade until the unexpected humanitarian crises occurred. To try to make some sense of what happened next we turned to popular search engine Google to help us to recall and reflect on what has been going on in 2020. Photo courtesy of Google/NOW!JAKARTA

Indonesia started 2020 with hope and optimism until the country struggled with the first natural disaster of the year with floods and landslides happening across the region including in the capital Jakarta. It was not a very bright start but not unexpected since these have been common occurrences for many years. 

Then the rumors about a novel coronavirus ( later named Covid-19) which had surfaced in the last month of 2019 turned into a real outbreak and quickly transformed into a global pandemic that has led to depression and a series of crises from economic to healthcare. It ruined the best-laid plans and disrupted lives that were settled and orderly pre-Covid-19. Here we are at the far end of 2020 and people are still dealing with the same problem. Yesterday may be history but tomorrow is a mystery.

Without losing any optimism, Google, our most popular search engine, which everyone knows about, just up wrapped 2020 with a compilation of moments by collecting the data from user searches to identify what were considered to be the major events this year. Google was right, Covid-19 was the most searched word that everyone was constantly seeking throughout the year. 

While yesterday is history, and tomorrow is a mystery, Google Year in Search 2020 may help us to reflect on the past and continue to move forward by making us think that today is a gift and help us to look towards a better future for all of us. Here are some highlights.

Globally, Coronavirus ranked in the top position of the most searched word in 2020 followed by (2) Election Results of US Presidential Election, (3) the Kobe Bryant accident, (4) Zoom, and (5) IPL ( Indian Premier League –cricket!) followed with other subjects including India vs New Zealand ( more cricket!), Coronavirus update, Coronavirus symptoms, Joe Biden, and Google Classroom. 

In Indonesia, the most searched keyword went to Ghosting, Gabut (doing nothing), Lockdown, Rebahan (relax), and WFH (Work from Home). Indonesians also searched (1) how to register UMKM (SMEs), (2) how to become a beginner Youtuber, (3) How to become a reseller, (4) How to make hand sanitizer at home, and (5) How to become popular ( Editor’s Note: I didn’t know you could search that !). 

News has been dominated by Coronavirus, Election results, Covid19 cases in Iran, the Beirut explosion, Hantavirus rumors, Stimulus Checks ( US government handouts), Unemployment, Tesla Stock, Bihar Election Result, and Black Lives Matter.

The news related keywords that earned the most circulation on Google Indonesia are (1) Kartu Pra Kerja (Pre-employment Card), (2) Daftar UMKM Online (Online SMEs Registration), (3) Stimulus PLN, (4) Omnibus Law, and (5) Sunda Empire ( Editor’s Note: not sure about this one?…). 

American actor Tom Hanks who was infected by the Covid-19 is the number one most searched person on Google followed by Joaquin Phoenix, Amitabh Bachchan, Ricky Gervais, and Jada Pinket Smith.

Most searched people in 2020 from Google Indonesia are comedian Bintang Emon, Korean stars Hyun Bin and Kim Soo Hyun, talk show host/journalist Najwa Shihab, and American citizen George Floyd. 

The most searched people in 2020 were US President-elect Joe Biden, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, and Tom Hanks again is the most popular world figure. 

This year the world also mourned the passing of popular figure Kobe Bryant who died in a helicopter accident along with his daughter in California. Actress from the TV series Glee Naya Rivera, leading role in the movie Black Panther Chadwick Boseman, Sushant Singh Rajput, and the death of American citizen George Floyd that has led to the biggest protests around the world.

Indonesia also lost some renowned figures this year and the passing of homegrown musician Glenn Fredly is in the top search, followed with other names of figures who passed in 2020 such as Kerocong artist Didi Kempot, comedian Omas, Kobe Bryant, and Chadwick Boseman. 

American race car driver Ryan Newman is the most searched athlete on sports searches leading other prominent names such as Michael Jordan, Tyson Fury, Tom Brady, and Mike Tyson.

Together At Home Concert is no.1 on Google search engine along with other popular music events including Fire Fight Australia concert, Garth Brooks Drive in concert, Travis Scott Fortnite Concert, and Korean group BTS online concert. 

Among Us is ranked  No.1 as the most played mobile game in 2020 followed by Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, Valorant, Genshin Impact, and The Last of Us 2. 

The most searched lyrics in 2020 were Cardi B featuring Meghan Stallion’s song WAP. The Oscar buzz Korean Movie Parasite (2020) is the most popular search, and Netflix’s Tiger King was the leading TV show in 2020. Dologna coffee, Ekmek, Sourdough bread, Pizza, and Lahmacun are the top five recipes that people searched for the most on Google.

The trend of pop culture in Indonesia named the independent movie Tilik (2020) as number one on the top search. The song Lathi by Weird Genius featuring Sara Fajira is the most searched lyric on Google Indonesia and Donught is the most popular recipe that Indonesian look for on the search engine followed with Dologna coffee, Odading, Bakso Mercon, and Beef Rendang.

For more on the Year in Search 2020, visit Google and watch the video on Youtube.