Photo Credit: Unsplash/ Benjamin Dada
Google on Wednesday released its 2021 Year in Search report to reveal the top search trends of the year in India and around the world. While cricket continued to top the charts this year with the ‘Indian Premier League' and ‘ICC T20 World Cup' emerging on the top spots in the overall list of leading queries in India, searches for ‘CoWIN' and ‘Covid Vaccine' were also trending high in the country, the search giant said. Battle royale game Garena Free Fire surfaced as the lone gaming entry that made it to the overall trending list in the country.
In India, ‘Indian Premier League', ‘CoWIN', ‘ICC T20 World Cup', ‘Euro Cup', and ‘Tokyo Olympics' were the top-five trending search topics on Google in India in 2021. The last wave of COVID-19 in the country pushed many netizens to use Google to search for COVID vaccines and hospitals. Searches for ‘oxygen cylinders' and ‘CT scans' also witnessed a spike in ‘near me' searches this year as people were looking for solutions to fight the deadly virus. Similarly, queries on food deliveries, tiffin services, and takeout restaurants also surged on Google this year, the company said.
Alongside the overall trending topics, the ‘how to' and ‘what is' search categories on Google were largely dominated by COVID-related queries in India this year. People actively searched for queries such as how to register for ‘COVID vaccine', ‘how to download vaccine certification', and ‘how to increase oxygen level'. These being the top three ‘how to' searches this year.
In ‘what is' searches, queries such as ‘what is Black Fungus' and ‘what is remdesivir' were the top ones. Searches including ‘what is Taliban' and ‘what is the factorial of hundred' were also amongst the top queries.
Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra became the most trending personality on Google in India this year, thanks to his history-making performance at the Tokyo Olympics. He was followed by Aryan Khan — the son of Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan — who came in the news for an alleged drug case.
Regional cinema managed to catch the interest of Google users in India this year as Tamil drama film Jai Bhim outpassed others on the movies list, followed by Bollywood titles Shershaah, Radhe, and Bell Bottom. Hollywood movies including Godzilla vs Kong and Eternals were also among the top trending movies of the year in the country.
As people mostly stayed at their homes in the initial months of the year, many of them seem to have used Google for searching new recipes. The top trending recipes on Google in India this year was ‘Enoki Mushrooms', though ‘Modak' and ‘Cookies' were also among the leading queries. Google also found homely staples like ‘Methi Matar Malai' and ‘Palak' as well as immunity-boosting ‘Kada' among the top recipes searched on its website this year.
Similar to the overall top trends, Google said that Indian Premier League, ICC T20 World Cup, and Euro Cup were the three leading sports events searched on its site in India. These were followed by the Tokyo Olympics and Copa America.
Tokyo Olympics was also the dominating trend in the ‘news events' category on Google in India this year. It was followed by Black Fungus, Afghanistan news, West Bengal elections, and tropical cyclone Tauktae.
In addition to the top trends in India, Google revealed the leading search trends around the globe. These are coming from over 70 countries and include ‘Australia vs India' as the top search trend, followed by ‘India vs England', ‘IPL', ‘NBA', and ‘Euro 2021'.
It is important to note that the 2021 Year in Search results by Google do not directly suggest the most searched queries on its site. The company instead considers the searches as the trending queries that had a high spike in traffic over a “sustained period” in 2021 as compared to 2020. The algorithm that compares the percentage increase in trending searches also takes a minimum threshold into consideration to avoid very small search volume from appearing on the list.
Last year, ‘coronavirus', ‘US election results', and ‘PM Kisan Yojana' were amongst the leading search queries on Google, though ‘Indian Premier League' took on all the other queries and had emerged as the top trending query.
Google rival Yahoo also recently revealed its 2021 Year in Review for India where it mentioned Narendra Modi, Virat Kohli, Mamata Banerjee, Sidharth Shukla, Rahul Gandhi, and MS Dhoni as the most-searched personalities on its search engine. Yahoo also listed Farmers' Protest that has been on for more than a year as well as Aryan Khan, 2021 Union Budget of India, Raj Kundra, and Black Fungus among the top newsmakers of the year.