Photo by Nathana Reboucas on Unsplash

Google has released its 21st-annual Year in Search — a collection of hundreds of lists with top searches from places around the world, revealing an interesting pattern of topics that appealed to regional audiences in 2021.

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Unsurprisingly, many COVID-19 related topics were at the top of the list for trending searches in South Carolina and Charleston including: “COVID vaccine near me” and “COVID testing site near me.”

But as vaccines became more widely available early in 2021, people wanted to return to fun social activities, as reflected in Google’s lists.

In Charleston, other top searches included:

  • Restaurants near me
  • Fast food near me
  • Pizza near me
  • Liquor store near me
  • Seafood near me
  • Breakfast near me
  • Seafood restaurants near me

Basically, the main things on Charlestonians’ minds this year were COVID, restaurants and alcohol. Sounds about right.

Top searches for the rest of the state were fairly similar, though S.C. residents at large seemed to branch out a bit with the types of activities they were looking for.

2021 trending “near me” searches for S.C.:

  • Movie theater near me
  • Things to do near me
  • Seafood restaurants near me
  • gas prices near me
  • car rental near me
  • bars near me
  • hair salon near me

Movies theaters, restaurants, bars and salons were some of the places we missed most in 2020, so it’s no surprise that people were quick to search and return to these destinations.

Google also released data on recipe-related searches by state, and S.C.’s list including many traditional Southern recipes like green bean casserole, tomato pie, black eyed peas and mac and cheese made the list of top recipes searches along with:

  • Cranberry sauce pie recipe
  • Banana pudding recipe
  • Sweet potato pie recipe
  • Deviled egg recipe
  • Banana bread recipe
  • Chili recipe

At least it’s good to know we were all still putting our newfound cooking and baking skills to work in 2021.

Worldwide, Google reported that “affirmations” and “sea shanties” received record-high search numbers this year. Ah, nothing like practicing positive thinking and chanting along to some sea shanties to take your mind off the global pandemic, right?

Outside of pandemic-related searches, the world seemed to be waking up to some very important issues this year with “impact of climate change,” “sustainability” and “missing indigenous women” being searched more than ever before.

Revisiting trending searches rekindles funny memories like Bernie Sander’s meme-worthy mittens at Biden’s inauguration (Google searches for “mittens” actually reached an all-time high worldwide in Jan. 2021.). And, reminds us some of the topics we deemed most important this year, like “body positivity” and “how to maintain mental health,” both of which reached record highs as well.

Check out Google’s Year in Search to explore some of the other top searches across the globe.

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