The General Services Administration (GSA) released a new report this week that highlights the twenty most search topics across government websites in 2020.

GSA says the report provides “key insights into what people need and how the government can help them.” The report was released on the Technology Transformation Services’ platform, which is intended to streamline the user search experiences across more than 2,200 Federal government websites.

The twenty most searched topics were loans, benefits, space, immigration, forms, Census, health, COVID-19 (all aspects), COVID-19 (health only), jobs, log in to systems, weather and climate, find offices, stimulus, case status, update personal data, make appointments, lost card, unemployment benefits, and Trusted Traveler.

Some topics saw a massive increase in searches over 2019, with the most significant increases coming from topics related to government programs amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However, COVID-19 also caused some searches to drop dramatically. Unsurprisingly, “find office” searches dropped by 47.5 percent as government services went digital, and “Trusted Traveler” searches decreased by 90 percent as international travel ground to a halt.

“This year’s report highlights the great need for information and resources related to COVID-19, as well as the ongoing needs of people trying to navigate government services,” said Dawn McCleskey, program manager. “Meeting these needs through stronger and more standardized search will continue to be a priority.”

In terms of how agencies can operationalize the report, Dave Zvenyach, Federal Acquisition Service deputy commissioner and TTS director said, “This report can help us and our agency partners better understand what the public needs, and provides important data so that we can make government information and services as accessible as possible.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.