Data shows search for connection during lockdown


By analysing data from Google Trends, creative digital agency Clear have uncovered increases in Google searches during lockdown - everything from virtual dating and jigsaws to prayers and hot tubs. The data show the British public are looking for connection and comfort at this difficult time.

As a creative digital agency, the Clear team have a lot of experience when it comes to analysing trends on Google and other search engines. However, with the world in a unique situation right now, they thought it’d be interesting to discover what people are searching for online.

By analysing graphs from Google Trends, the team were able to spot search terms that were being used much more than usual during lockdown. This in turn helps tell us something about the British psyche at this troubled time.

Some of the results were fairly obvious. Searches for ‘virtual meetings’ shot way up in mid-March, for example. However, a lot of the trends relate to a search for entertainment, comfort, and most importantly, connection.

While searches for ‘online dating’ remained about the same, ‘virtual dating’ has seen a surge in interest. The difference being, of course, that the actual date is conducted online and not just the search for that someone special.

Physical comfort is another trend, with a bigger Easter peak for ‘chocolate’, and searches staying higher for longer afterwards. ‘Hot tubs’ have been popular too. But spiritual comfort was on the list as well, with ‘virtual churches’ in high demand, as well as an increase in searches for ‘prayer’.

Entertainment was popular too (of course), but what’s interesting is that group activities have been particularly popular, from ‘jigsaws’ and ‘monopoly’ to the humble ‘pub quiz’.

Not all the increases in activity were as wholesome as ‘sourdough recipes’ or ‘how to knit’ though. Lockdown is stressful, and some people have been looking to ‘get away with murder’. Hopefully not literally!

Searches for ‘puppies’ also show a steady upward trend. Let’s hope those either relate to cute YouTube videos, or that people looking to buy a new pet have fully thought it through. Most people have been home for a while, but that will change as time goes by.

In fact, things are changing already – at least if the sudden increase in searches for ‘beauty spots’ is anything to go by!

The full dataset (with graphs) can be found here.