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Popular Google COVID-19 Searches, One Year into the Pandemic

In 2020, queries starting with the word ‘why’ was searched more than ever before.

Our job as marketers is to understand what our audience is searching for, the intent behind that search and how we can provide the answer.

Here is a snapshot of the most popular U.S.-based coronavirus-related search terms between January 2020 and June 2020:

One year into the pandemic, what are people searching for now?


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We turned to Google Trends to find out.

COVID-19 Searches: From Expected to Surprising

5. Coronavirus Strains

COVID strain queries

OK, this one was expected, especially with the impact new strains are having on the world and the questions raised about how effective vaccines will be against these new variants.


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4. Vaccines

Vaccine searches

Another term that was expected to start trending.

Interest in vaccine-related terms may be at an all-time high across the globe, but that doesn’t mean the same questions are being asked.

Searches for ‘vaccines near me’ were five times more common since the start of the year; however, questions are being asked now that you most likely wouldn’t have known the answer to at the beginning of the year:

Vaccine queries

3. Fever

COVID symptom queries

Now, this one is interesting.


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We all know the symptoms of COVID-19 by heart by now, but when you take a look at what symptoms were searched for over the past four months, you realize that one symptom is far more prevalent than the others.

Fever and sore throats are the most commonly searched symptoms over the past four months, which I expected during colder months where flu and colds are rife.

Fever / sore throat queries

Interestingly, though, when you look at the two terms over a considerably longer time-frame, it becomes clear that interest is spiked due to COVID-19 concerns.


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2. Sanitizer

Sanitizer queries

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this trend is that it has hugely dropped since March.

The need for sanitizer must be the same as it was at the beginning of the pandemic, yet it appears to have flat-lined when it comes to searches.


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1. COVID and Hiccups

COVID and queries

We saved this one until last because it really is bizarre. While this graph shows the trend for the term ‘COVID and’, searches for ‘COVID and hiccups’ holds a score of 100 with related terms being:

  • Are hiccups a sign of COVID? – score of 44
  • Hiccups symptom of COVID – score of 44
  • Is hiccups a sign of COVID? – score of 17

Whether you are using COVID-19-related terms as part of your marketing strategy, want to predict what topics will be of interest in the near future, or simply want to learn transferable lessons from the pandemic, it’s worth remembering that the most fascinating topics are often those we can’t predict.


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