Backflips, banana bread and sign language: How Brits are spending time in isolation

The internet is awash with people sharing new tricks they’re trying to learn with all the extra time they have on their hands. Trusted data provider SEMrush has found the public are searching for skills on Google ranging from the light-hearted “learn how to backflip” up 182% in March from December 2019, to the more cerebral “how to learn sign language” 12,290 searches in March. The data shows Brits are a nation of gardeners, linguists, bakers, gymnasts as well as the terms most searched for related to COVID19 and lockdown.

Sign language gets the thumbs up from Brits

Since the beginning of isolation, there has been a significant rise in people searching how to learn a new language. Interestingly, whilst “how to learn French” (6,800 searches) and “how to learn Spanish” (7,910 searches) prove popular, the most searched for was “how to learn sign language” with over 12,290 in March 2020, a 175% increase from December 2019 (4,340 searches). There has also been a rise in the number of people asking, “how to learn Welsh”, which almost tripled in searches from 210 in December 2019 to 590 in March 2020.

Public go bananas for baking

The nation has gone baking mad whilst placed in isolation. SEMrush has looked at the types of recipes searched for online and found that lockdown in March caused an increase of 74% in the total volume of searches for recipes, rising from 4,450,000 in December 2019 to 7,743,900 in March 2020.

It seems the public are turning to comfort food more so than healthy food, with searches for “salad recipes” featuring way down in 83rd place. Baking, however, has proved to be the most popular type of cooking, with the top five searched for recipe terms being; “pancake recipe”, “banana bread recipe”, “bread recipe”, “scone recipe”, “flapjack recipe”. With that in mind it seems likely there will be a big spike in people searching for their local dentist once lockdown is over.

Millions search for furlough

The most dramatic changes in search volumes comes from an analysis of COVID-19 related terms.From February 2020 to March 2020 there has been a 62,122% increase in people searches related to “Furlough”, going from 3,600 in February to 2,240,000 in March 2020. 

A list of the other top five most searched for terms can be found below:

Search termSearch volume Feb 2020Search volume Mar 2020% increase in volume of searches from Feb 2020 – March 2020
herd immunity5,400450,0008233%
social distancing390368,00094259%

Surge in self-sufficient Brits seeking spuds

Data looking British gardening habits shows a dramatic increase in the numbers of people looking to grow their own fruit and veg in the face of the COVID-19 shutdown.

The new data shows that in March alone, there were 1,417,000 garden-related searches by shutdown Brits, many of them looking for tips on how to grow your own fruit and vegetables – an increase of 113% on the numbers of people searching for the same information pre-lockdown.

With online searches for ‘how to grow potatoes’ increasing by 834%, onions at 407% and carrots and tomatoes, both up 406% month on month, it’s obvious to see which larder staples Brits don’t want to face dinner without.  Ambitiously – there has also been a dramatic spike in people searching for how to grow their own avocados, up 83%.

There is also a tropical twist to what people want growing in their gardens, with Watermelon and Pineapple also proving popular searches alongside more traditional British staples – up 46% and 83% respectively.

Searches for ‘vegetable garden’ alone have spiked by 175% over the last month.

Increase in searches for how to grow fruit and veg, UK, Feb-Mar 2020% increase in volume of searches from Feb 2020 – March 2020
1 How to grow potatoes834%
2 How to grow onions407%
3 How to grow carrots406%
4 How to grow tomatoes406%
5 How to grow sunflowers400%
6 How to grow strawberries315%
7 How to grow cucumbers309%
8 How to grow ginger184%
9 How to grow garlic174%
10 How to grow blueberries124%

Alexander Ross

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