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The Keyword


2020: The year the world asked "why?"

Image shows a futuristic city all lit up at night.

2020 was the year we asked "why?"

While “coronavirus” was the top trending search worldwide, we also asked questions like “why is it called covid-19?” and “why is mental health important?” more than ever before. We searched for ways to help each other, like looking at how to support essential workers on the front lines of COVID-19 or how to aid people affected by the wildfires in Australia or devastation in Beirut.

Even while so many of us stayed home, we looked for ways to connect, support and understand each other. We asked, “why are people clapping?” and “why is empathy important?” And for the first time, people all over the world searched for Black Lives Matter—increasing five-fold compared to the previous year.

Despite everything happening around us, we were as inquisitive as ever before, asking questions like “why do people dream?” and “why is Mars red?” We stayed optimistic and looked for creative ways to spend our time: This year searches for “sourdough bread recipe” hit an all-time high. 

Now as we come to the close of such a tumultuous year, we’re taking a closer look at trending topics across searches, news, people, “how to’s,” virtual activities and more from across almost 70 countries. Just as Search can help you explore and discover a world of information, there are many ways to explore the year through the lens of Google Search. Take a closer look with year’s trending lists at

Looking ahead to 2021, there's one thing we know for sure: We'll keep searching.

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