Google Zeitgeist: What the world searched for in 2011

By on December 15, 2011, 2:00 PM

Google has released Zeitgeist 2011, a year-end look at the most popular search terms throughout the year. The 11th annual report analyzes the hottest and fastest rising queries in a variety of categories across the world.

For 2011, the most popular global search was for Rebecca Black and her YouTube hit song “Friday”. The music video launched the 13-year-old to celebrity status after it received over 167 million views. Songstress Adele also made the top 10 list at number seven. Other celebrities rounding out the top spots include Ryan Dunn, Casey Anthony and Steve Jobs.

Nearly half of the top searches were related to technology in some form or fashion. Google+ was the second most searched term, followed by Battlefield 3 at number five, iPhone 5 and number six and the iPad 2 at number 10.

Natural disasters, including Hurricane Irene in the US and the earthquake and tsunami in Japan were also highly searched terms. The Japanese earthquake showed up on lists from almost half of the countries in the 2011 Zeitgeist. Unsurprisingly, “earthquake” topped Japan’s fastest rising list and “TEPCP”, owners of the Fukushima power plant, became the first non-Latin query to ever make the global fastest-rising list. In the US, the top searches related to charitable giving were about assisting Japan.

Google improved the Zeitgeist to make it easier to compare terms across all categories and added detailed infographics as well as a video overview of terms that captivated the world in 2011.

User Comments: 11

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tehbanz tehbanz said:

Those video's that Google makes are always so touching and stylish, let's hope 2012 is a better year in terms of natural disaster and war/protest. Let's hope that it's not filled with end of times lunatics spreading chaos and disorder. Thanks for a great year of news Techspot, i check your site every day and love the thoughtful comments and witty banter.

also, who else thought it was weird watching youtube videos, in a youtube video?

yo dawg....

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

You could rename this article "what teenage girls in america liked" and everything else would fall into place.

Guest said:

I wouldn't call Casey Anthony a celebrity.

Ranger12 Ranger12 said:

Agreed, celebrity is not something I would call Casey Anthony. On a lighter note, Yeah Battlefield!!!

treetops treetops said:

YAHOO claimed Kim Kard was the number one searched item last year, I think they are full of crap. I think they have search bots spamming her so the media thinks people like her and she gets free news coverage.

Panda218 Panda218 said:

amstech said:

You could rename this article "what teenage girls in america liked" and everything else would fall into place.

Yeah I was excited to see it was available, but I was completely disappointed with the results

I saw rebecca black and...

(*¯°-¡°)*¯µ """)

I'm done

Guest said:

who the **** is Casey Anthony ??

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

... and where is Dennis Ritchie? Why he not on there and Libya was also big key events, so is the EU fiasco. Oh well, nice video though, very stylish as someone already said.

Guest said:

I guess these results are after they filtered out all the porn searches.

Guest said:

Oh look, Google+ ad.

Guest said:

I bet a lot people will search for it on google as a result of this lol

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