Google Zeitgeist 2012: Top Searches of the Year [Video]

NEW YORK | Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 8:20pm EDT

Google has released the new Zeitgeist, its annual list of most popular searches and search trends throughout the year.

It was a good year, full of event that most of us, probably, won’t forget.

Google has taken all of the biggest search terms from the year and compiled them into one big showcase.

On Wednesday, Google released its annual Zeitgeist video showing “how the world searched” in 2012.

For the list dedicated to Google searches in general, Whitney Huston came in at number one, followed by the Duchess of Cambridge., as the second trending person. Huston was followed by searches for Gangnam Style at second and Hurricane Sandy at first. #SOPA was the most-used Google+ hashtag of the year, which was joined in the top three by #Awesome and #HurricaneSandy.

Neil Armstrong, Michael Clarke Duncan, Sally Ride, Norodom Sihanouk and Maurice Sendak are a few of those memorialized in the video.

Google released other data this week on its Zeitgeist 2012 site, including the top trending topics, TV shows and images.

The Euro 2012 football championship has emerged as the top trending search term of the year, beating the Olympics and even Kate Middleton, reports the Daily Mail.

Skyfall, Gangnam Style and Victoria Pendleton are also among this year’s top internet searches.

Romantic searches topped the ‘what is’ and ‘how to’ query lists, with searchers keen to learn ‘what is love?’ and ‘how to kiss’ and ‘how to flirt’ to help them be luckier in love.

This was closely followed by more serious ‘what is?’ queries ranging from the iCloud to the illuminati, diabetes and ‘how to meditate’.

It was also a year of creativity as millions searched online for inspiration around ‘how to draw’, ‘how to crochet’, ‘how to knit’ and ‘how to sing’.

Besides historic events, scientific discoveries, celebrity deaths and the top trending videos, the 2:46 digital capsule is also a sly advert for Google+. The camera pans over Google hangouts or videos obviously being watched on Google+, the social network often ridiculed for being a ghost town.

Zeitgeist 2012 also highlighted YouTube’s livestreaming success by bookending the video with Felix Baumgartner’s record-breaking stunt (aka Red Bull Stratos’ marketing success).

Among key events and conflicts of this year people searched for  the protests in Syria and Greece, Pussy Riot, the 2012 Summer Olympics, the Mars Rover landing, the launch of SpaceX’s Dragon capsule and the elections in the United States, Egypt and France.

The year’s viral hits – U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Jeremy Cooney’s discovery, Jennifer Livingston’s response, Honey Boo Boo and, of course, Psy – also make appearances.

Besides the top 10 overall searches, Zeitgeist lists the most popular images, athletes, events, TV shows, people and more. Some of the interesting highlights include Jeremy Lin as the most popular athlete, The Hunger Games as the most searched-for feature film and the iPad 3 as the most popular item in the category of consumer electronics.

It wasn’t only Apple products in the top three, however, as the Samsung Galaxy S III managed to work its way into second place. That isn’t bad at all, especially when you consider that Apple products are some of the most hyped devices each and every year, Mashable says.

What was noticably missing from Zeitgeist 2012 was any mention of porn. Everyone knows “the Internet is for porn,” and according to Google trends data, searches for porn easily dwarf searchs for, say, “Gangnam Style” which was featured in the 2012 Zeitgeist video.

According to the search giant, 1.2 trillion searches in 146 languages were conducted, the Huff Post writes.

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