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Top YouTube Searches During COVID-19 Pandemic

New data reveals what YouTube viewers are looking for most during the COVID-19 pandemic.

YouTube published a new set of insights with information about the most popular video topics since the pandemic started.

From sourdough to self-care, trending topics reveal that people turned to YouTube to learn skills and improve their wellbeing.

YouTube’s report is full of rich visuals, as well as insight into what can be derived from the popularity of each search term.

Here’s an quick rundown of key insights from the report.

Help With Home Cooking

As widespread lockdowns began in March, the world turned to YouTube for help with cooking their favorite food at home.

The main item on everyone’s list was, believe it or not, sourdough bread.

“But by the end of March, one could make a legitimate case that a good portion of the world was simultaneously fixated on how to achieve a superlative sourdough starter. And the evidence for that was on YouTube.”

YouTube notes that it’s highly unusual for countries around the world to be searching for similar topics at the same time.

But global searches for cooking tutorials have been picking up since a national emergency was declared in March.

Solace in Self Care

People turned to YouTube to cope with the anxiety and uncertainty brought on by the global pandemic.

Searches for videos related to food, exercise, relaxation, and sleep have all been up since the month of March.

“The phrase “self care” makes some people think of indulgent candle-lit bubble baths. But it really speaks to the maintenance of our most basic biological and emotional needs.”

YouTube specifically highlights the popularity of the following topics:

Yoga (Daily views doubled since March)
Guided meditation (Daily views up 40% since March)
Home workouts (Daily views up 4X since March)
Nature Sounds


Social Connection… At a Distance

YouTube data demonstrates the need for people to stay connected at a time when social distancing is strongly encouraged.

“YouTube viewers used video to engage with each other directly and indirectly, sometimes in nuanced ways: even just participating in a rising coffee-making trend can make someone feel more connected to other people.”

Since March there has been a notable increase in the following video topics:

  • ‘With Me’ (Views of #WithMe videos are up 600%)
  • Museum Tours (Daily views up 60%)
  • Face Masks (DIY tutorials have been viewed 400 million times)
  • Dalgona coffee (A trendy quarantine treat that had a brief viral moment)

Identity Crisis

The idea and experience of one’s self was top of mind as the pandemic disrupted people’s lives around the world.

“Video proved to be a unique way people could both express who they were and who they might become — say, by learning a new skill.”

The following video topics rose in popularity since March:

  • Gardening
  • How to cut hair
  • Religious services
  • Video call beauty tips

“Astonishing Uniformity”

YouTube says the uniformity of these content trends around the world is “astonishing.”

What we can take away from this is people share three main needs right now when it comes to content:

  • Experiencing a sense of connection
  • Feel as good as possible
  • Project a strong sense of self

Source: YouTube Culture & Trends

For more YouTube search data, with insight into all popular terms from the past year, see the article below:

Category News YouTube
SEJ STAFF Matt G. Southern Senior News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt G. Southern, Senior News Writer, has been with Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a bachelor’s degree in communications, ...

Top YouTube Searches During COVID-19 Pandemic

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