What changed and what stayed the same for August’s Google search trends?

Lisa Iscrupe

Sep 8, 2020 — 3 min read

Want to know what the nation is thinking about? Here’s a snapshot of what’s on millions of people’s minds from moment to moment.

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Every month Google releases data on search trends in the United States, culminating in an annual lookback on trending topics. Popular subjects typically include sports, extreme weather events and celebrity gossip. But did that hold true last month? Let’s take a look at Google’s trending searches in August.

What were the hot topics in August?

The overall search trends each month are grouped by 10 main categories. In July, we saw a major uptick in sports-related searches due to the revival of Major League Baseball and the impending NFL football season. 

In August, sports continued to dominate the majority of search volume, even as the 2020 election inched closer, and a number of shocking natural disasters and significant celebrity passings took place. 

Let’s see how the search volume within the top five categories changed from the end of July to the end of August (data rounded to the nearest integer):

August

  • Sports: 37%
  • Current events: 15%
  • Entertainment: 14%
  • Politics: 13%
  • Pop culture: 10%

July

  • Sports: 25%
  • Pop culture: 19%
  • Current events: 17%
  • Entertainment: 12%
  • Politics: 12%


Off-beat trending searches in August 

Besides the typical news topics, there were several unusual trending search topics in August. 

  • National Dog Day: Proving America loves (wo)man’s best friend, National Dog Day ranked as the third most popular search term on the holiday’s Aug. 26 anniversary. The cats of the internet were not amused. 
  • Earthquake in NC: Though not a nationwide event, the rare earthquake in Sparta, NC in early August sent searches around the term soaring. The 5.1 magnitude quake was the strongest in the state in over a century, and was felt along the East Coast from Atlanta to Ohio. Yes, L.A., we can hear you chuckling from over here. 
  • Annabelle doll: Even if you’ve never seen the movie, the sudden popularity of the “Annabelle doll” in mid-August might have given you the creeps. What was behind the commotion? A ridiculous internet hoax that the doll had “escaped” from its home inside The Warren’s Occult Museum in Connecticut. 

In Memoriam

It’s always a tragedy when a young person passes away too soon. The sudden passing of beloved actor Chadwick Boseman on Aug. 28 shocked his fans and supporters worldwide. We are grateful for the magnitude of creative work he accomplished, the legacy he leaves and the lives he touched.

Want to see more by-the-numbers internet news and trends? Check back in October for our September Google Trends report and bookmark the Resource Center for weekly tech news, troubleshooting tips and internet deals.

What makes Google the authority on trending topics?

Using Google to look for information online has become so ubiquitous that the term “googling” is synonymous with “searching.” As of May 2020, Google had over 92% of the search engine market share worldwide, according to StatCounter, with the next highest contender being Bing, clocking in at a relatively paltry 2.61% of the market share.

In other words, looking at what’s trending on Google is one of the most democratic ways to gather information on what concerns and interests people at any given time. 

In fact, Google runs “at least 63,000 searches per second,” according to Search Engine Land. That equates to over 5.5 billion searches per day. Google, more than any other news or entertainment outlet, has its finger on the pulse of the nation. 

Why is this important? Google search data is a key way to see what people across the U.S. are thinking, reading and talking about every month. We examined the top 20 trending searches per day in July to see what people were interested in last month.

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Lisa Iscrupe

Written by:

Lisa Iscrupe

Writer, Broadband & Data Content

Lisa uses years of experience in sales and customer service for internet-TV providers to inform her writing on broadband. Her work has been referenced by CNN and other national sources. … Read more