Google Zeitgeist reveals the top global searches of 2012

By on December 12, 2012, 12:00 PM

Yesterday we shined the spotlight on some of the top tweets and trends on Twitter in the first of what is likely to be several Year in Review posts. Today Google released their 2012 Zeitgeist which highlights the year’s top searches globally and in a number of different subcategories.

Internet users amassed an impressive 1.2 trillion Google searches in 2012 spanning 146 different languages. Overall, it was the death of American recording artist Whitney Houston in February that garnered the largest number of queries worldwide. Korean rapper turned Internet sensation PSY’s hit song Gangnam Style edged out Hurricane Sandy to claim the silver medal. iPad 3 and Diablo 3 rounded out the top five global searches, respectively.

Jeremy Lin, Michael Phelps and Peyton Manning all earned podium status in the Athletes category while One Direction, Selena Gomez and iPhone 5 were the top Google Image searches for 2012. On the consumer electronics front, the iPad 3 dominated search as the top query this year. Samsung’s Galaxy SIII, the iPad Mini, Nexus 7 and Galaxy Note 2 completed the top five in the category in that order.

It’s also interesting to compare trending topics using hashtags from Google+ users with those from Twitter. The search giant says #SOPA was the top hashtag of 2012 followed by #Awesome and #Sandy. #IO12 and #Curiosity, referencing Google I/O and NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover, fell just short of the top three spots.

Google highlighted several other subcategories as well including Events, People, Feature Films and TV Shows, just to name a few. Feel free to check out the Zeitgeist for a complete rundown of the searches that shaped 2012.

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