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Year in Search: Here’s what Aussies searched for in 2021

A graphic showing the top trending queries overall or Australia in 2021

As 2021 comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on the moments that made Aussies search, wonder and cook up a storm. It was a year of more lockdowns, sporting victories and a rare earthquake in Melbourne. We rallied together for Cleo Smith, joined the #BartyParty – and bid farewell to Prince Philip and Bert Newton. In the kitchen, we whipped up gnocchi, munched on Anzac biccies and sprinkled some spice on our curried sausages. Whether we were looking up definitions, building websites or making paper planes, we turned to Google Search to understand the world around us, learn new skills and find inspiration.

To rediscover the events, people and topics that defined 2021 around the world, watch our Year in Search video:

Here are five themes from our searches in Australia in 2021:

The pandemic is still powering our searches

As we navigated new seasons and surges of the pandemic, we searched to stay across outbreaks in NSW, Queensland and Victoria. We looked to book in for vaccines, get our vaccination certificates – and find the meaning of Omicron. We also showed our savvy and scientific curiosity, searching ‘how to make a face mask’ and interestingly, ‘how to make oxygen.’

Surprise surprise… we’re nuts for sport!

Our obsession with sport shines through again this year, as the top seven queries overall relate to basketball, footy, cricket, tennis and the Olympics. Despite restrictions on events and travel, we tuned in to cheer on our teams, track scores and share in the moments that made history. Both homegrown and international female athletes were standouts this year. We celebrated Ash Barty’s heroic win at Wimbledon, Ariarne Titmus’ Olympic triumph – and followed the journeys and resilience of Naomi Osaka, Simone Biles and Emma Raducanu.

We’re crafty, creative and ready to get down to business

When it comes to ‘how to’ and DIY searches, our queries were health-conscious, playful, artistic and ambitious. While ‘How to make a face mask’ topped the list, we still found levity during lockdown – channeling our creativity to make candles, playdough and paper boats. We were keen to sign-up to all kinds of classes nearby, including dance, pottery, piano and even glass blowing.

And while we may have lived in our leisurewear this year, we showed our entrepreneurial spirit and were ready to suit up – searching ‘how to make a website’ and ‘how to tie a tie.’

We searched for people, meanings and crypto

As we faced tragedy and tough times this year, we looked for answers when we were lost for words. Through Search, we showed our care and concern for Cleo Smith – and kept looking for William Tyrrell. We were shaken by the earthquake in Melbourne, the crisis in Afghanistan – and were curious about crypto. And as we wrapped our heads around complex issues and events, we looked up the meanings of terms like emancipated, insurrection and gaslighting.

Cravings for comfort, sugar and spice

Starting with appetisers, it seems we were keen for a chip and a dip this year, as we looked up guacamole and tzatziki recipes. For our heartier meals, we returned to classic comfort food – craving gnocchi, lamb shanks and minestrone soup. We did however allow for some adventure and spice, as curried sausages became an unexpected recipe trend. And while the menu for 2021 was mostly savoury, we did squeeze in some sweets with Anzac biscuits and rocky road.

To dive into the data, check out Australia's full trending* lists for 2021:

Overall searches

  1. NBA
  2. AFL
  3. Australia vs India
  4. NRL
  5. Euro 2021
  6. Wimbledon
  7. Olympic medal tally
  8. COVID NSW
  9. Coinspot
  10. Prince Philip

News events

  1. COVID NSW
  2. Cleo Smith
  3. QLD COVID update
  4. Alec Baldwin
  5. Coronavirus Victoria
  6. William Tyrrell
  7. Bert Newton
  8. Christian Porter
  9. Afghanistan
  10. Melbourne earthquake

Aussies

  1. Cleo Smith
  2. Ash Barty
  3. William Tyrell
  4. Christian Porter
  5. Nadia Bartel
  6. Dominic Perrottet
  7. Nick Kyrgios
  8. Ariarne Titmus
  9. Peter Bol
  10. Melissa Caddick

Global figures

  1. Alec Baldwin
  2. Rita Ora
  3. Travis Scott
  4. Kyle Rittenhouse
  5. Adele
  6. Naomi Osaka
  7. Pete Davidson
  8. Simone Biles
  9. Tiger Woods
  10. Emma Raducanu

Loss

  1. Prince Philip
  2. Gabby Petito
  3. Bert Newton
  4. Brian Laundrie
  5. Sean Lock
  6. Michael Gudinski
  7. Sarah Everard
  8. Carla Zampatti
  9. Helen McCrory
  10. Larry King

Sport

  1. NBA
  2. AFL
  3. Australia vs India
  4. NRL
  5. Euro 2021
  6. Wimbledon
  7. Olympics
  8. Australian Open
  9. EPL
  10. French Open

Recipe(s)

  1. Gnocchi recipes
  2. Guacamole recipe
  3. Curried sausages recipe
  4. Anzac biscuits recipe
  5. Negroni recipe
  6. Lamb shank recipe
  7. Brussels sprouts recipes
  8. Minestrone soup recipe
  9. Rocky road recipe
  10. Tzatziki recipe

‘How to...?’

  1. How to get vaccination certificate
  2. How to tie a tie
  3. How to deliver uber eats
  4. How to buy dogecoin
  5. How to watch olympics australia
  6. How to book COVID vaccine
  7. How to watch euro 2021 in australia
  8. How to link medicare to mygov
  9. How to book pfizer vaccine
  10. Million dollar vax how to enter

‘How to make…?’ DIY queries

  1. How to make a face mask
  2. How to make candles
  3. How to make playdough
  4. How to make a paper plane
  5. How to make a chatterbox
  6. How to make a website
  7. How to make slime without glue
  8. How to make a paper boat
  9. How to make fake blood
  10. How to make oxygen

Classes and lessons

  1. Dance classes near me
  2. Swimming lessons near me
  3. Driving lessons
  4. Pottery classes
  5. Swimming classes for kids near me
  6. Art classes near me
  7. Guitar lessons near me
  8. Piano lessons near me
  9. Zumba classes near me
  10. Glass blowing classes

Meanings and definitions

  1. Emancipated meaning
  2. Insurrection meaning
  3. Gaslighting meaning
  4. NAIDOC meaning
  5. NFT meaning
  6. Omicron meaning
  7. Frigid meaning
  8. Narcissist meaning
  9. ROC meaning
  10. Sedition meaning

* Trending Searches: What was hot in 2021? The "trending" queries are the searches that had the highest spike in traffic over a sustained period in 2021 as compared to 2020.