It’s that time of the year again, but it’s been an interesting year in terms of what people have chosen to search, given that a large part of the world was holed up at home for a major chunk of the year. As per Google India’s Year in Search, there was obviously an uptick in the questions about coronavirus, but Google India’s search was dominated by one of the only other things that collectively captivates the imagination of Indians — cricket. The Indian Premier League was the country’s top trending query.
In terms of Year In Search globally for people who passed away this year, Sushant Singh Rajput was fourth. First was Kobe Bryant, next Naya Rivera, then Chadwick Boseman, and fifth was George Floyd.
Dil Bechara emerged as the top trending movie, following the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. Next on the list is Surya-starrer Soorarai Pottru, based loosely on the story of Air Deccan founder Captain Gopinath. The next three spots were occupied by Bollywood biopics — Tanhaji, Shakuntala Devi, and Gunjan Saxena.
India’s top 5 search terms were the IPL, coronavirus, US election results, PM Kisan Yojana and the Bihar election results. “Interestingly, the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM Kisan Scheme) that provides monetary support to farmers made it to the top trending chart, as netizens looked for latest news, information, and updates,” Google said in a statement.
In terms of politics, the US elections saw significant activity, with President-Elect Joe Biden emerging as one of the most trending personalities. In terms of elections on Indian soil, both the Delhi and Bihar elections both saw significant traction.
For personalities apart from Biden, Republic TV’s editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami was one of the top trending personalities. This was followed by Bollywood singer Kanika Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan, Kangana Ranaut, Rhea Chakraborty, and Ankita Lokhande. International personalities who Indians search for include North Korean president Kim Jong-Un, Afghan cricketing star Rashid Khan and US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
Since it was the year of staying home, Google’s search ‘near me’ feature was equally varied. While the top was food shelters, followed by “COVID test near me”, people also searched for cracker shops, liquor shops, night shelters, grocery stores, gym equipment stores, Broadband connection, laptop shops and furniture stores near them.
It was also the year of experimenting with food! In the list of asking google ‘How to’ make something, paneer topped the list. Other food entries included dalgona coffee, jalebi and cake.
People also searched for coronavirus related questions — how to increase immunity, how to make sanitizer at home, and how to prevent coronavirus and how to apply for an e-pass.
Among the major news events, apart from the IPL, coronavirus and US Presidential election, people also looked up the Nirbhaya case, the Beirut explosion, the lockdown, China-India skirmishes, Australian bushfires, locust swarm attack and Ram Mandir.
But of course, Google gets questions about people’s various doubts as well. Entries on this year’s list included “What is binod” and what is “hantavirus”.