‘Why?’ dominated the 2020 Google Year in Search

‘Why?’ dominated the 2020 Google Year in Search

Published
December 2020

In a year unlike any other, “why” was searched more than ever. That’s the biggest takeaway from Google’s annual “Year in Search” video. Some of those “why” questions were driven by the most dominant stories of the year: COVID-19, social unrest around the world, and the wildfires that swept through Australia. As we navigated the unexpected, Aussies sought definitions, made sense of restrictions, and looked to help people in need.

From a marketer’s point of view, “why is toilet paper sold out” just might be the most representative search question of 2020. It captures the curiosity and frustration of the year, and gets at shoppers’ need for basic, practical information. Indeed, searches for “who has” plus “in stock” were up over 8,000% year over year, according to Google Data. It’s a key indicator for marketers wondering how to rethink their strategies for what comes next.

But as we’ve learned how to adapt in the marketing world, we’ve also discovered which best practices still hold true. With these insights, brands can look to get ahead of 2021.

Rethinking readiness: Marketing experts explain how to prepare for what’s next