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Google Zeitgeist: Results of the world’s biggest survey

December 26, 2011

Google, the world’s most popular search engine, has just unveiled Zeitgeist 2011, the company’s 11th annual list of the most popular and fastest-rising internet searches.

Revealing the names, news stories and products that interested the most people, this is essentially the world’s biggest survey of the year.

The following list is of Google’s “fastest-rising” queries in the United States in 2011, in layman’s terms the most popular searches conducted in 2011, ranked by how much their popularity increased from the previous year.

1. Rebecca Black– American teenager Rebecca Black shot to fame after the family-funded release of her laughably bad song “Friday” and its accompanying video in March. The 14-year-old became Google’s most searched term of the year after “Friday” went viral, clocking up over 167 million views on YouTube and inspiring countless parodies.

2. Google+ – A social networking site designed to challenge the behemoth that is Facebook, Google Plus amassed over 10 million users in just three weeks after its June launch. Although it has since been met with an underwhelming reception, the site clearly aroused people’s curiosity.

3. Hurricane Irene – A large Atlantic hurricane that devastated the East Coast of the United States in late August, Irene is estimated to have caused over seven billion dollars of  damage in the United States and at least 47 deaths.

4. Pinterest – A virtual pinboard where users can share and organize the things they love online, Pinterest was one of the year’s most popular smartphone applications. The mission statement of Pinterest is to connect everyone in the world through shared tastes and interests.

5. Ryan Dunn – Best known for his dangerous but hilarious daredevil stunts on reality TV shows “Jackass” and “Viva La Bam,” Ryan Dunn died at the age of 34 in an alcohol-related car crash in Pennsylvania on June 20.

6. iPhone 5 – The only item on the list that does not actually exist yet, the “iPhone 5,” as many dubbed the latest in Apple’s smartphone series, was rumored to be ready for release in early October. Yet the speculation proved inaccurate, with Apple unveiling the upgraded iPhone 4S instead.

7. Casey Anthony – The most-searched news event in the world this year was the trial and eventual acquittal of Casey Anthony, a young mother from Florida charged with the first-degree murder of her two-year-old daughter Caylee. Charged after her daughter’s remains were found in a wooded area near her home in Orlando, Anthony was found not guilty on July 5.

8. Adele – British pop singer Adele took the music world by storm with sophomore album “21,” which sold 208,000 copies in the United Kingdom in its first week of release. Number one in the U.K. album chart for 16 consecutive weeks, the album catapulted the 23-year-old to worldwide fame and success and was nominated for six Grammys.

9. Osama Bin Laden – After almost a decade in hiding, the figurehead of Al-Qaeda and the man behind the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2011 was finally tracked down and killed by U.S. special forces in Pakistan on May 2.

10. Steve Jobs – After a long battle with cancer, the visionary co-founder and CEO of Apple died on October 2 at the age of 56. A pioneer of computer technology, Jobs became a household name thanks to Apple’s success, first with Mac computers and iPods, then more recently with iPhones and iPads.

Rebecca Black also topped the world’s most Googled list, which was comprised of seven of the same searches. In the world list, Hurricane Irene, Pinterest and Osama Bin Laden all dropped out at the expense of the Battlefield 3 video game, Apple’s iPad 2 gadget, and Tepco, the nuclear power plant affected by the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March. Social networking site Facebook topped the fastest-rising search list in Mexico, which was dominated by smartphone technology. The iPhone 5 came second, while Apple’s rival operating system Android also made the cut, alongside mega-popular downloadable games Angry Birds and Plants Vs. Zombies.

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One Comment leave one →
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