Florida in the search bar: Surfside, stimulus, lotto, COVID-19, Disney, stocks & more
Searching information data on internet networking concept. Women use smartphones to search the internet, what they are interested in. Searching engine with blank search bar.

Asian women using on her smart phone search data
If we’re lucky, no pandemic-related terms will dominate internet searches in 2022.

Google released its “Year in Search” last week, illuminating the top things the world looked for online over the past 12 months.

The results mirror the many dualities we’ve come to experience as normal. For example, searches for “doomscrolling” and “affirmations” both reached an all-time high worldwide this year. And, national searches for “soulmates” hit an all-time high, but searches regarding “long-distance relationships” were at a five-year low.

Plumbers” have never been searched for more than they were in 2021, and searches for “Asian-owned” businesses were double the rate they were last year. “Body positivity” was also searched more in 2021 than ever before, as were “how to conserve” and “sustainability.”

President Joe Biden’s inauguration led to huge spikes in searches for “mittens” – thanks to Bernie Sanders’ meme-able moment – and in searches for “Amanda Gorman” following her breakout poetry reading.

These searches clearly reflect the mindset of Americans as the many political, cultural, and social phenomena of 2021 shook out.

But what about Florida?

Did residents of the Sunshine State follow these trends or deviate? What were the unique searches generated from within our borders, or curiosities about the state from the outside world?

To do that, we looked at top search terms, and the most trending search terms, generated by Florida internet users in a number of areas of life, such as in entertainment, shopping, economy and finance, food, and travel.

In 2021, in Florida, the most trending search terms related to arts and entertainment were “Friday Night Funkin”, followed by the film, “Godzilla vs. Kong.”

The most trending vehicle in Florida was the “Kia Carnival”, and the most trending book search was for “Wheel of Time” perhaps due to the November release of an Amazon Prime TV series based on the book. Searches for “Dr. Seuss Books” also reached an all-time high in Florida this year, largely surrounding the ‘cancel culture’ controversy that unfolded when the icon’s publisher shelved six of his books, citing hurtful portrayals of race.

Trending economic searches were almost entirely focused on people trying to guess the timing of when “stimulus checks” would drop, while “Ethereum,” “dogecoin,” “cciv stock,” and “gme stock” dominated Floridian’s finance-related trending searches.

For food, Floridians searched more this year than prior for “crumbl cookies” and “White Castle Orlando,” and when it comes to television, searches for Spanish-language reality show “La Casa de los Famosos” rose the most.

Trending searches in Florida related to travel reveal an increased interest in “Disney World Annual Pass”, “Universal Studios” and “Fort Lauderdale”, while top shopping-related searches fell to a few perennial favorites: “Walmart”, “Amazon”, and “Nike.”

That’s what Floridians were searching for, but what did outsiders search for related to the state?

National searches connected to Florida were dominated by queries on the Florida Lotto, the tragic Surfside condo collapse, and COVID-19 rates. Law and government-related searches about Florida were focused mostly on where to find “statutes” and information relating to the “Florida Bar”, while the most trending query about Florida in 2021 regards the “2022 Florida gubernatorial” election.

Worldwide, internet searcher interest in “Florida” was more vivid in some places than others. In South America, the highest volumes of searches for “Florida” were in Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, and Columbia. In Africa, people in Nigeria and South Africa had the highest volumes of searches for “Florida” while the greatest volume of “Florida” searches in Europe originated in the UK, Spain, and Italy. Vietnam, India, and the Philippines led Asian countries in “Florida” searches. And, in North America, Canadians searched for Florida at three times the rate as did people living in Mexico.

Finally, because one can’t help but wonder, for the search terms that dominated the nation in 2021, where in Florida did these patterns fall most closely?

Turns out that “doomscrolling” was searched for most in St. Petersburg and Tampa, while “affirmations” was searched for most in West Palm Beach. “Long-distance relationships” were on more people’s minds in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, but “soulmates” caught more attention in Gainesville than anywhere else in the state.

“Plumbers” were searched for the most in Panama City, followed by Pensacola, and max searches for “body positivity” were in St. Pete and Tampa.” Searches for “how to conserve” were highest in Orlando, while Gainesville internet users had the state’s highest interest in “sustainability.”

Back to inauguration-themed searches, the greatest volume of searches for “Amanda Gorman” originated in West Palm Beach, while “mitten” searches were the highest in Jacksonville.

Finally, when it comes to COVID-19 related searches, Ft. Myers and Naples led with the greatest volume of searches for various terms, including “vaccine”, “monoclonal antibodies,” “Moderna,” and “booster.” “Pfizer” was searched for most in Miami, “Anthony Fauci” the most in West Palm Beach, “hydroxychloroquine” in Panama City, “ivermectin” the most in Pensacola.

If we’re lucky, no pandemic-related terms will dominate internet searches in 2022. Cheers that the next “Year in Search” be uplifting.

Karen Cyphers

Karen Cyphers, Ph.D., is a partner and vice president of research at Sachs Media Group. She can be reached at [email protected]


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