Back in December, Google released its 21st annual Year in Search results, listing hundreds of top trending search topics from around the globe.

Highlighted in the email I received, though, were only search trends for South Carolina. The accompanying note pointed out that “food is an important part of South Carolina culture.” Thus, these folks declare, trending recipe searches indicate our love of “green bean casserole, tomato pie, black eyed peas and banana bread.”

This makes us South Carolinians sound like a bunch of numbskulls, doesn’t it? The most important thing we didn’t already know – a compelling subject we had to search for – was a green bean casserole recipe?

I’m sorry, but if you have lived in this state for more than one Thanksgiving, you should already have someone’s mama’s green bean casserole recipe!

And if you don’t have one, around November, there’s a recipe on every can of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup, every package of frozen green beans, and every little can of French’s Crispy Fried Onions.

Also, if you’re looking for a recipe for cranberry sauce, you will not survive the South. Down here, cranberry sauce is the gelatinous (and delicious) blob that comes in a can. Cranberry relish, on the other hand, requires a recipe. I have one, if you’d like a copy.

This official research and reporting made me curious about what people in general are most curious about these days. (Fun side note: Do you know how to find out what the most common Google searches are for any given period of time? Ha! You search on Google!)

For Aug. 10, the most popular daily search trend, with 200K-plus searches, was a tie between the stock market rebound and why Jennette McCurdy did not return for the reboot of iCarly.

Those last 10 words make no sense to me.

But the first part was interesting. I don’t watch the markets generally (because I own no stock), but it’s always good to hear the numbers are on the rise after hearing they have been down for so long.

One of the next top searches was something about Real Madrid vs. Eintracht Frankfurt. I clicked on the link to discover that two sports ball teams played a game of whatever ball was involved. Nowhere in the news story was that ball mentioned. The players pictured were wearing non-descript jerseys and the crowd looked enthusiastic.

Madrid “overwhelmed” its opponent for 2-0 victory. OK, so then I knew it wasn’t football or basketball, and probably not baseball. Must have been soccer.


As I scrolled through the list of search topics, I did see a few somewhat familiar names – Kelly Ripa, Kylie Jenner, Steven Seagal – and phrases – full moon, fifth amendment, America’s Got Talent. But none of them, except perhaps the moon, held any interest for me.

I turned my attention back to the top trends for 2021 throughout the U.S., and felt a little more in tune with my fellow Americans. Here I found Mega Millions, stimulus check, Bridgerton, how to be happy alone, Bernie Sanders’ mittens, and Adele.

“How to pronounce quinoa” was my favorite question by far, followed by the intriguing “How to style a corset.”

But where was the news? Where were the details about the big stories?

And where the heck was the green bean casserole recipe?