Biden's First 100 Days
Research Intelligence

100 Days of Biden: What’s Trending Online This Presidency?

by Molly Winik , Senior Digital Research & eCommerce Specialist 7 Min.
April 29, 2021 | Updated June 21, 2022

Key Points:

  • Biden sworn in, Trump trends
  • Zoom popularity sticks a year into COVID 
  • Oprah’s Meghan and Harry attracts interest  
  • Stimulus searches spike round 3
  • 100 million doses in, the vaccine rollout is in focus

April 30 marked 100 days since President Joe Biden took office. From explosive royal interviews and stranded cargo ships to a successful vaccine rollout and the one-year anniversary of COVID-19, the beginning of 2021 has been eventful, to say the least.

So what search trends are we seeing in Biden’s first 100 days in office?  Using Similarweb’s market intelligence platform, we examined key insights and real-time data from the last 100 days (Jan. 20, 2021–April 20, 2021), focusing on trending events and government rollouts to investigate.

Biden sworn in, Trump stays search king 

Although Biden was sworn into office on Jan. 20, Trump was still leading in popularity when it came to online searches and reader interest. 

In January, the search term Joe Biden appeared in 2.1 million total search visits. The top category receiving traffic from this keyword was News and Media, with 66.5% of the traffic share. However, during the same time period, Trump overshadowed his successor, especially in terms of media coverage and readership. People were still fascinated about what the former President would say or do next.

The keyword Donald Trump received 5.1 million total search visits in January 2021, with 80.3% of the traffic around the search term going to News and Media sites. When looking at related keywords, the search terms with Donald Trump in them had 41.2 million total search visits, 127% more popular than Joe Biden’s 9.2 million. 

Trending keywords related to Joe Biden in January 2021 in the United States were:

  • joe biden family
  • joe biden immigration plans
  • joe biden economy
  • joe biden stimulus
  • joe biden inauguration

Trending keywords related to Donald Trump in January 2021 in the United States were:

  • donald trump impeachment
  • donald trump statement
  • donald trump today
  • president donald trump latest news
  • donald trump pardons

Super Bowl LV, CBS Sports outperforms 

The Super Bowl is one of the biggest events for media and publishers of the year, with news sites competing with each other to convert as many keyword searches into actual readers. 

By looking at website and keyword data from February 2021, we can understand what sports fans were searching for and which terms and digital strategies ultimately drove the most traffic.

During Super Bowl LV, cbssports.com experienced a 190% increase in traffic compared to Jan. 23, 2021, when it had its last great peak, significantly outperforming its competitors (espn.com, sports.yahoo.com, bleacherreport.com, foxsports.com). Whereas the other top news sites lost traffic compared to their peaks in the previous weeks, CBS Sports had the largest Super Bowl-related increase in traffic. 

organic traffic superbowl

Further inspection shows that CBS was able to win a majority of the traffic share by targeting the most generic Super Bowl terms such as “superbowl” and “superbowl score.” 

Top NFL Keywords Driving Organic Traffic and Competitive Traffic Share for ESPN and Competitors

Over a year into COVID, Zoom’s relevance remains  

As we entered the third month of Biden’s presidency, we celebrated not only a year of life during a global pandemic, but also a year of social distancing and Zoom meetings. 

In the last year, zoom.us received 28.1 billion total visits worldwide. And monthly visits to zoom.us grew 111% percent YoY. In March 2021, Zoom received 2.8 billion monthly visitors, up from 802.8 million in March 2020. Unique visitors also grew 82% percent, from 214.7 million to 511.3 million. 

zoom visitors over time

Despite a slight drop over the summer and holidays this year, Zoom has seen steady growth since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. 

The Zoom App performed just as well as its desktop counterpart this year. Currently, in Apple’s App Store, Zoom Cloud Meetings is ranked #1 in its category (business) and #9 overall for the United States. On average, Zoom gets 3.1 million downloads a month from the Apple store, a 13.1% increase from the previous month. 

In the Google Play app store, Zoom Cloud Meetings is ranked #1 in the business category, and #11 overall in the United States. On average, Zoom gets 4.1 million downloads a month from Google, a slight decrease from previous months. 

In the United States, most of Zoom’s users are Millennials between the ages of 25–34, who are likely to also use Instagram, Google Duo, and TikTok.

breakdown of zooms app demographics

Oprah’s interview brings Meghan Markle into the search spotlight  

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry gave an explosive interview to Oprah on March 7, grabbing the internet’s attention from all around the world. Because the interview was set to air in the United States alone, traffic for the top VPN websites (expressvpn.com, nordvpn.com, vpnmentor.com) surged as people scrambled to watch. Specially, these VPN websites saw 60% growth in the U.K. and 20% globally in the weeks leading up to the interview. 

As more and more viewers clamored to watch the interview, Meghan Markle became a top search term, growing from an average of 7,000 a month to nearly 100,000. The top searches for this keyword the week leading up to the interview were:

  • where to watch meghan markle oprah interview 
  • how to watch meghan markle interview
  • where to watch meghan markle interview
  • meghan markle interview where to watch
  • where can i watch the meghan markle interview

Read the full analysis here >>

Stimulus searches spike with the third check approved   

Within a few months of Biden being in office, Congress approved the third round of stimulus checks, providing American citizens up to $1,600 in relief and they were eager to claim it. 

In March 2021 in the U.S., there were 12.5 million total search visits for phrase match “stimulus check” and 28.6 million total search visits for related keywords. By comparison, in February 2021, there were 5.3 million total search visits for this keyword, and 9.7 million total search visits for related keywords, showcasing 80% and 99% growth respectively between February and March 2021.  

The top categories receiving traffic from the search term “stimulus check” were news and media (52.1%) and government (21.5%) sites. Irs.gov earned the highest traffic share among organic desktop competitors with 21.5% in March 2021. This was nearly twice as much as the top two news sites: cnbc.com (11.5%) and cbsnews.com (11.4%).

Americans were actively searching for news on when their checks might be arriving, and refreshing the IRS website for any important updates. 

#SuezBLOCKED grabs headlines and clicks

When a 200,000-ton, 400-meter long (1,312-foot) ship blocked the infamous Suez Canal for about a week before finally being freed from the shoreline, the internet reacted the way it always does – sheer fascination. 

The search term Suez Canal grew 200% in March 2021, garnering 1.6 million total search visits. In March 2020, that number was about 16,900. 

Our data also found that news sites eclipsed reference websites for this search category for the first time. Whereas organic competitors for search queries related to the Suez Canal fall almost exclusively to the reference materials or search database websites, in March 2021 there was a noticeable shift, and publishers won the majority of the traffic share as people search for news on the incident.

Cnn.com and nytimes.com took advantage of the news cycle the most effectively in the last month, earning 34.4% and 29.4% of the traffic share for the keyword Suez Canal, respectively.

winner in the media suez canal

Read the full analysis here >>

See Similarweb’s suite of digital tools for publishers and media here>>

100 million vaccine doses delivered, vaccine interest climbs 

Biden has already surpassed his goal of 100 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for Americans within his first 100 days in office. Now his goal is 200 million, and he is getting close. 

On April 7, 2021, New York announced that all residents aged 16 or over were eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, a massive achievement for one of the states hardest hit by the virus. 

On average over the last year, there were 2.9 million search visits a month for the keyword “covid vaccine.” When looking at the last 28 days (as of April 10, 2021), there were 13.1 million total search visits, a 127.5% increase. 

Most of the traffic share was split between publishers, as well as pharmacy and government websites, with keywords ranging from news about the vaccine (Johnson and Johnson vaccine or covid vaccine side effects) to information about where to get one (covid vaccine near me or covid vaccine appointment).

traffic distribution for covid vaccine

America’s health protection agency, the CDC, is the leader receiving the most traffic to its website, cdc.com, from question queries related to the keyword, covid vaccine. Some of the top question queries of the last 28 days include: 

  • Where can i get the covid vaccine
  • Where to get covid vaccine
  • Where can i get a covid vaccine
  • Where to get covid vaccine near me
  • How to get covid vaccine 

Stay one step ahead of the trends

If the first 100 days of Biden’s presidency taught us anything, it’s that understanding how current events are changing consumer behavior and market patterns are key to success. 

Digital data can give you the insight you need on what people are searching for, how they are searching for it, and which keywords are sending the most traffic to both your site and your competitors. Learn more about how Similarweb’s market research tools can benefit your business. Try it for yourself! 

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This post is subject to Similarweb legal notices and disclaimers.

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