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Data Snack

What’s More Popular: McDonald’s or Taco Bell?

September 6, 2022
December 21, 2021
Mae Rice

Do people go to Google more often looking for Big Macs or for a Cheesy Gordita Crunch? We dug into the Google Trends data — and it was more complicated than we expected!

Table of Contents

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It’s like “Why is the sky blue?”, but harder to answer. 

Lately, people have been searching “McDonald’s” more than “Taco Bell” — but “Taco Bell near me” more than “McDonald’s near me.”

Source: Google Trends

Who’s really on top? 

Taco Bell wins on “near me” searches, so…

  • It sees more explicit intent to visit. Search a brand name, and you could just be looking for news. Add “near me” to that search term, and you want to go there.
  • It’s edging out McDonald’s on high-value searches. “Near me” keywords have a higher cost-per-click than brand name ones, Ahrefs reports. 

McDonald’s wins brand name search, so… 

  • It's getting the highest overall search volume. McDonald’s is getting more combined brand name and “near me” searches. 
  • It couldddd be winning on intent to visit. “Near me” doesn’t have a monopoly on intent. Searchers often expect to get local results automatically, especially on mobile, Google reports.

Our takeaway? 

We think McDonald’s is more on people’s minds. But considering that McDonald’s has ~2X more U.S. locations than Taco Bell, Taco Bell is punching WAY above its weight. 

In a way, everyone’s winning! 😎

Mae Rice
about the author

Mae Rice is editor in chief at MarketerHire. A long-time content marketer, she loves learning about the weird and wonderful feedback loops that connect marketing and culture.

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