Flash in the pan: Trends from 2020

Nov 17, 2020 · 4 min read

In this article, Victor Condogeorges, Orchard’s Data and Insights Director, will explore Google Trends and show you how to use a high-volume search query to index all other terms. This is useful if you want to know how to compare more than five terms in Google Trends.

Remember this guy? Joe Exotic: the tiger king.

Remember when Trump wanted to cut TikTok because of its ties to Beijing? Some may remember the second peak, that’s around the time when speculation that Microsoft would buy TikTok was brewing.

Speaking of Trump, around the election, searches exploded (as you’d expect):

The elephant in the room though is definitely the COVID-19 Pandemic, especially around March. Talk about good timing for Joe Exotic.

But the biggest by far has been the election.

The term ‘election’ has set a new height for the “guess the query with the highest volume” game popular among searchies.

Far greater than searches for Google (yes, people type it in), Youtube, Facebook and even Bing.

Even more than iPhone, Galaxy, Samsung and Apple.

Further than Amazon, eBay, Gumtree, or even buy.

Greater than weather, near me, recipe or how.

On the topic of How, the election is greater than Who, What, Why and Where.

Sometimes it’s handy to know a big search volume term when you’re trying to peg another term to its peak. This consistent guiding ‘north star’ allows you to pull in any term and swap it out and keep it relative to the peak.

Why is this important? It helps with mapping trends across terms (you can always use the market leader if you’re sure that has the most volume).

When doing analysis, if you want to compare more than five terms quickly without using the API, it helps to have a high point. Just don’t make it too high for your search terms as you might not get the granular visibility you need to see trends and fluctuations.

This is an excessively complex and hard-to-read chart that uses all the queries we reviewed today. You can see the election acts as a north star on all the other queries to index them accordingly. In this example, the search volume from the election is too great to even see Joe Exotic’s flash in the pan.

The election might be a bit too high for most searches, but things like weather, how, and near me are easy to select.

Next time you play guess the volume, consider that “election” was the highest searched term I was able to find this year. Do you think you can find one higher? Let me know in the comments.