If 2020 was the year people turned to Google to ask ‘why’ as the world went through a pandemic, extreme weather events and a global race reckoning, then 2021 seems to have been the year people looked for ways to find their ‘why’. ” in proactive ‘How to’s’ as they progressed to healing. Of which:
“How do you learn about stocks?”
“How do you become a travel agent/Amazon seller/DoorDash driver?”
These were all the most searched for “How to” questions of the past year, with “How to heal?” reaching an all-time high, according to Google’s annual “Year in Search” report released early Wednesday. GOOGL ., property of the alphabet
The search engine’s deep dive into the topics and questions people in nearly 70 countries have googled over the past year serves as an insightful index to the top news stories and shared obsessions of 2021 — such as the meteoric rise of meme stocks and cryptocurrency, largely driven by first-time investors, or the sickly fascination with Netflix’s NFLX
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According to Google searches, the top stories of the year were also the Mega Millions lottery, after a $1 billion jackpot – won by someone in Michigan – became the third largest lottery prize in US history in January. The Georgia Senate race, the impact of Hurricane Ida, the tumultuous US withdrawal from Afghanistan, and Kyle Rittenhouse’s verdict were all among the top US news stories for the year, landing many on the global most wanted list. news stories, as well.
These were the top 10 news stories searched for on Google in the US in 2021:
Georgia Senate Race
Kyle Rittenhouse verdict
These were the top 10 general Google searches in the US in 2021:
Georgia Senate Race
Note that both “AMC stock” AMC
and “GME Stock” GME
landed in the top 10 most searched news stories of the past year in the US and around the world, along with “Dogecoin” DOGEUSD
and “Ethereum Price.” ETHUSD
The two main “Where to buy” searches were “Where to buy Dogecoin?” and “Where to Buy Shiba Coins?” and “Where to buy NFT?” was there too, as non-replaceable tokens became a hot item – as well as a “Saturday Night Live” parody. “How do you pronounce Dogecoin?” even topped the “How to pronounce” queries.
No wonder a recent Rover.com survey found that pet owners call their dogs “Doge” and their cats “Bitcoin.” BTCUSD
It seems that everyone wanted to put their feet up on crypto in one way or another.
Those eager to learn more about the sometimes volatile world of meme stocks can check out MarketWatch’s MemeMoney column and the weekly MemeMarkets videos on YouTube. Or stay up to date with cryptocurrency market news here – we’ve got you covered.
In fact, many financial topics that MarketWatch has covered over the past year have cropped up time and again on Google’s most-searched lists for 2021. However, this should come as no surprise as the world is bearing the human and financial toll of the COVID-19 pandemic, people have many questions about the best ways to earn, protect and invest their money.
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COVID-19 stimulus checks appear on both the global and US top news searches for the year, for example after President-elect Joe Biden agreed in March to give $1,400 stimulus checks to Americans who earned $75,000 or less under the US bailout plan. This followed the $1,200 and $600 outright payments handed out under former President Donald Trump. While some people were able to squirrel the stimulus money into their savings, many households still reported using the checks on essential items.
Pandemic shipments: 3 Americans Tell MarketWatch How They’re Going To Spend Their Incentive Checks
Those stimmies have had far-reaching consequences: Economists have said the stimulus payments from both presidents likely played a part in driving the current spike in inflation, as the checks gave consumers more money to spend.
Speaking of spending, the top “where to buy” searches for the year were Dogecoin, Shiba coin, the SafeMoon crypto token, Sony’s SONY
PlayStation 5, Microsoft’s MSFT
Xbox Series X and N95 face masks. In fact, demand for game consoles like the PS5 was so high that retailers like Walmart WMT,
and Best Buy BBY
have placed resupply behind subscriber paywalls.
Read more: Do you want a PS5? Walmart, Amazon and Best Buy want you to subscribe first
That leads to shortages: Pandemic-related supply chain problems and strong demand for many products led to shortages throughout the year. The top five most Googled “shortage” searches include gas, chlorine, ketchup, food, and French fries.
Google also listed the most searched questions about student loans, including questions about when and if President Biden will waive student loans.
And some students have indeed been paid off their debt this year. The Department of Education has canceled more than $1.5 billion in debt from borrowers who have been defrauded by their schools and $5.8 billion in loans for borrowers with severe disabilities. The revamped public loan forgiveness program could also give some 550,000 teachers, nurses and social workers access to promised student debt relief.
Follow MarketWatch’s new Extra Credit section, a weekly look at the news through the lens of debt, to stay on top of student debt. Looking for debt counseling yourself? Read this step-by-step guide to take advantage of the public loan forgiveness program.
People around the world also searched for “COVID” and “COVID vaccine” as the pandemic entered its second year. And the two most popular “near me” searches in the US were “COVID vaccine near me” and “COVID testing near me”, with “COVID booster near me” appeared on the list as the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended booster shots later in the year — largely due to the rise of COVID variants of concern, such as delta and omicron.
The daily Coronavirus update tracks COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths, as well as the latest news on vaccines, boosters and vaccine mandates. And if you’re concerned about going out or visiting your family for the holidays, here are three ways to protect yourself from the omicron variant.
As another sign of healing, Google notes that interest in “COVID vaccines” officially outpaced interest in “COVID testing” this year, even as searches for movies, bars, brunches, buffets, bowling, aquariums, and massage places near me” increased cities reopened.
To put it more lightly, the most-searched memes of the year were “Bernie Sanders Mittens” after a photo of the Vermont senator sitting alone in his mittens during Biden’s inauguration went viral. The Netflix hit “Squid Game” — which temporarily became the streaming platform’s most-watched show of all time and is estimated to be worth nearly $900 million to Netflix — also dominated memes and Halloween costumes. And a huge container ship that got stuck in the Suez Canal in March was also immortalized as one of the most popular memes of the year.
People also searched for more ways to help others, with ‘How to Help Afghan Refugees’ topping the ‘How to Help’ list, along with ‘How to Help India COVID’, ‘How to Take Care of Children’, ‘How to Help Orphans help” and “How to help a family member with depression” are among the most wanted ways to help.
View Google’s full “Year in Search 2021” report here.