Google Offers Year-End Peek at the Zeitgeist


From zumba (exerdance) to wallpapering to nephrops, (a.k.a. a Dublin Bay prawn or Norwegian lobster), the Google Zeitgeist list of the year’s top search terms offers a peek inside the planet’s collective obsessions, passions, curiosity and downright nosiness. And that’s just in the United Kingdom.

Google’s list is evidence that “the entire country has turned into one huge version of the Daily Mail,” quips Gizmodo U.K. about the celeb focus of Britain’s top searches (and the world’s most-trafficked online news hub, the salacious Daily Mail‘s website.

Beyond revealing the spirit of the times, it’s also a fascinating local snapshot. In the U.S., Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga were top searches, while in the U.K., the the Royal Wedding was the “fastest rising search query” and the British commoner formerly known as Kate Middleton among the top ten fastest rising people.

“From local celebrities in Finland to Singaporeans looking for news on the revolutions in Egypt and Libya half a world away, people turned to Google to learn more about what was happening on the world stage,” Google’s Amit Singhal wrote on the company’s official blog.[more]

“The Google Zeitgeist gives online marketers a fascinating insight into the mindset of UK search users. While it’s always entertaining to hear about the latest ups and downs in the celebrity world, the fact that Apple notched up two of the five fastest rising search terms shows that its legendary hype machine is as strong as ever. This bodes well for the future of new devices like the iTV and the iPhone 5,” blogged Mark Baker, online marketing manager at the Eword. 

Find out more in the 2011 Zeitgeist website, and compare to previous years here. Still can’t get enough? Check out Bing’s year-end list of top search terms, Twitter’s year in review, Facebook’s top memes and Yahoo’s top searches of 2011.