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.