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Yes, “toilet paper” was the second most searched item for “where to buy.”

By Mike Pomranz
December 09, 2020
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Today, Google has released its annual “Year in Search” for 2020, and though the top result wasn’t “What the hell is going on?” plenty of the tech giant’s findings reveal that the past 344 days haven’t been normal. The top “how to make” search was for “hand sanitizer.” The top “near me” search was for “coronavirus testing.” And in what apocalyptic world is the second most searched “where to buy” item “toilet paper?” In any other year, Google probably would have spit out, “Uh, everywhere, right?”

Dalgona Coffee, a trendy fluffy creamy whipped coffee
Credit: Ana Rocio Garcia Franco/Getty Images

And yet, we tried to persevere the best we could, and many of the top results for 2020 reveal exactly that: how we dealt with the chaos around us. Plenty of people turned to cooking, and, unsurprisingly, Google said the top recipe search was “Sourdough bread.” Another big pandemic trend was brands sharing how to make their signature items at home, and, rounding out the top ten, many of those foods made the list: Whipped coffee, Disney churro, Dole whip, DoubleTree cookie, Ikea meatball, Chaffle, Hamburger bun, Egg salad sandwich, and Healthy banana bread.

Honing in on bread, baking was such a popular lockdown hobby that Google released a list of the top ten searches just for different types of bread: sourdough, of course, led the list, followed by cloud, beer, peanut butter, chocolate chip banana, challah, vegan banana, Dutch oven, crusty, and Amish friendship.

But while some turned to the oven to kill time, others popped open a bottle, and Google also offered up a list of the top ten alcoholic drink recipes people were looking for. Leading the way was a frozen spin on the buzziest hard seltzer: Whtie Claw slushie, followed by skinny margarita, strawberry margarita, grapefruit margarita, gimlet cocktail, apple cider cocktail, hunch punch, hot toddy, Martinez cocktail, and strawberry daiquiri.

And yet, the most interesting search results were the ones that specifically pointed to changes in our behavior. For instance, the Black Lives Matter movement helped land searches for “Black owned restaurants” a spot in the top ten “near me” searches. And perhaps pointing to an increase in poor quarantine habits, under “how to help” both “acid reflux” and “heartburn” made the list. Meanwhile, some searches were just practical: A top “kids at home” search was “lunch ideas.”

Finally, we’d be remiss to not at least take a peek at the top overall searches—which were “election results” and “coronavirus.” Here’s hoping we don’t hear as much about either of those in 2021.

You can find all of Google’s published results on their official Year in Search 2020 page.