In the past several years, Google’s Year in Search has provided us with an overview of what people were most curious to know about in the previous 11-12 months. Although the feature gained traction only recently, Google celebrates the 20th edition of Year in Search in 2020.
Google celebrates 20 years of ‘Year in Search’
“Twenty years ago, Google published its very first end-of-year list, called the Year-End Google Zeitgeist. Looking back, it’s clear how much some things have changed (please see the list of the top 10 MP3 music resources), and how much they stay the same (decades later and we’re still watching some of these sitcoms),” Google said.
Google says that it published the first Year-End Google Zeitgeist in 2001 when most of the world searched for terms like CNN, World Trade Center, Taliban, American flag, American airlines, etc. The first year-in-review timeline also captures the cultural essence of 2001, including Friends, the sitcom, and services like Napster, mp3pro, etc.
What was hot and what was not in the year 2001? Our Year-End Google Zeitgeist feature provides a glimpse at what captivated the world over the past 12 months, based on the most popular search terms on the world’s most popular search engine.
Although the core idea behind Year in Search has stayed the same, this content edition has advanced in the past decade. For years, engineers and content specialists at Google have created crispy yet comprehensive snapshots of vast data from the search engine result pages. For instance, Google now includes a video that illustrates the elements that top the Year-in-Review lists.
Some of the key people behind Year in Search can be seen recalling the most exciting moments of curating this content — such as the 2016 US elections. Some of them are excited to note that some topics like the Friends sitcom and people like Eminem, Britney Spears, and Harry Potter have stood the test of time.
In 2020, however, the Coronavirus pandemic has caused people worldwide to ask the same questions and find hope within several big and small things. While the Year in Review team marvels at how the content shows the similarities between human beings, regardless of where they are and how they live, the team also reassures that they haven’t seen a year as unusual as 2020.
Click here to view the timeline.
It is also worth noting that even the short periods in 2020 created such a diverse set of search trends globally, including but not limited to the development of a Coronavirus vaccine and the rising number of fatalities.
While the team behind Year in Review is looking back at their first venture, they are also working on a jam-packed summary of the most popular Google search queries that happened across the world in 2020.