Google Zeitgeist: Top Searches of 2012

As someone who works in the field of SEO (search engine optimisation), anything Google-related is of interest to me. Suffice to say when 2012’s Google Zeitgeist was released yesterday I was intrigued to learn what the world has been searching for in the last year.

This lovely little feature from Google gives you stats of the top 10 searches of the year for various categories, viewed either from the point of view of the world as a whole, or through a country-specific lens. With regards to the UK the results are as expected, with the top two trending searches going to Euro 2012 and the Olympics (or more specifically ‘Olympics tickets’ – these were in high demand!). However it has to be said I was a little surprised to see the 3rd spot claimed by Whitney Houston. Don’t get me wrong, I love Whitney Houston as much as the next man, and with her unfortunate passing earlier this year she was bound to be searched for on the popular search engine more than usual, but it’s slightly surprising that she was the 3rd most searched term.

Music fans will definitely not be surprised to see ‘Gangnam Style’ at number 1 on the most searched for list for this category, with the ever so catchy ‘Call me Maybe’ not far behind in 2nd. However the Korean hit was not top of the chart in the US, where Justin Bieber’s ‘Boyfriend’ (misleading sentence structure I know) ruled supreme. Oh yes, that happened…

Young basketball superstar Jeremy Lin was the most searched for athlete in the world, which is quite an achievement! He beat the obvious choices of Usain Bolt (what with the Olympics and everything) and Michael Phelps. Tom Daley managed to sneak into 7th spot, so well done him.

The top searched in tech goods was the iPad 3, with the iPad mini and 4 also in the top 10, and in film ‘The Hunger Games’ pipped Skyfall to number 1. For a film that proved the most popular according to search volume, I still haven’t seen it – I really must see it! You’ll never guess who was top of the Google Images search… I’ll give you a clue; it’s one for the ladies. No, it’s definitely not me.

Anyway I leave the regurgitating of stats there for now. Go check out the full stats on the Google Zeitgeist page if you fancy it. I’ve spent a good hour looking and I’m still fascinated by it. Maybe I’m just a bit weird… All I’ll say is why do so many people in the UK want to learn how to knit?

Written by Joe Topliffe


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