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The Most Popular Google Searches of 2012

2012 Google Zeitgeist

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It's that time of year again! Just as they have since 2001, Google has once again released their end-of-year compilation of top searches for the past twelve months. This annual release is called the Google Zeitgeist, and gives us a way to see what we've searched for most in the past year, from News to Technology to Entertainment.

For 2012, Google has added an interactive map that shows geological data as well as when and where certain searches were popular, as well as trends per country, a summary video, and a download option for all search data. Over 1.2 trillion searches in 146 languages were processed this year, an astonishing amount, and this number only looks to get larger in the years ahead. Before we dive into a sampling of this year's most popular searches, let's take a look at past years' Zeitgeists:

Here are the top Google searches of 2012 as released by the Google Zeitgeist 2012. Note: this is just a sampling of what you can find at the Zeitgeist; searches from a wide variety of countries across several categories are available, including Humanities, Pop Culture, News, Technology, and Lifestyle.

The World’s Top Searches

  1. Whitney Houston
  2. Gangnam Style
  3. Hurricane Sandy
  4. iPad 3
  5. Diablo 3
  6. Kate Middleton
  7. Olympics 2012
  8. Amanda Todd
  9. Michael Clarke Duncan
  10. BBB12

The World’s Top Google+ Hashtags

  1. #SOPA
  2. #Awesome
  3. #Sandy
  4. #IO12
  5. #Curiosity
  6. #Olympics
  7. #SXSW
  8. #Debate
  9. #BlastFromThePast
  10. #Eastwooding

The World’s Top Image Searches

  1. One Direction
  2. Selena Gomez
  3. iPhone 5
  4. Megan Fox
  5. Rihanna
  6. Justin Bieber
  7. Harry Styles
  8. Minecraft
  9. Nicki Minaj
  10. Katy Perry

Top Trending Events Of 2012

  1. Hurricane Sandy
  2. Presidential Election
  3. Super Bowl
  4. Olympics
  5. UEFA Euro 2012
  6. KONY Movement
  7. SOPA Protest
  8. Aurora Shooting
  9. Trayvon Martin Case
  10. Hurricane Isaac

Top Trending “What Is” Searches In The U.S.

  1. What is SOPA
  2. What is Scientology
  3. What is KONY
  4. What is Yolo
  5. What is Instagram
  6. What is Pinterest
  7. What is Lent
  8. What is Obamacare
  9. What is iCloud
  10. What is Planking

Top Searched Cities in Google Maps In the U.S

  1. San Francisco, CA
  2. Chicago, IL
  3. Denver, CO
  4. Los Angeles, CA
  5. New York, NY
  6. Dallas, TX
  7. Washington, DC
  8. Houston, TX
  9. Seattle, WA
  10. Boston, MA

Top Trending Tech Gadgets In U.S.

  1. iPad 3
  2. iPad Mini
  3. Samsung Galaxy S3
  4. Kindle Fire
  5. Nexus 7
  6. Microsoft Surface
  7. Galaxy Note 2
  8. Samsung Galaxy S2
  9. iPhone 5
  10. Nokia Lumia 900

Top Trending Feature Films

  1. The Hunger Games
  2. Cloudburst
  3. Prometheus
  4. The Avengers
  5. Magic Mike
  6. John Carter
  7. Ek Tha Tiger
  8. Paranormal Activity 4
  9. Taken 2
  10. Dark Shadows

Top Trending Performing Artists

  1. Whitney Houston
  2. Michael Clarke Duncan
  3. One Direction
  4. Donna Summer
  5. Lana Del Rey
  6. Carolina Dieckmann
  7. Dirk Bach
  8. Carly Rae Jepsen
  9. Michel Telo
  10. LMFAO

Top Trending TV Shows

  1. BBB12
  2. Avenida Brasil
  3. Here Comes Honey Boo Boo
  4. The Voice
  5. American Idol
  6. Game of Thrones
  7. Homeland
  8. Revenge
  9. Charming Cheias
  10. Carousel

Top Trending Consumer Electronics

  1. iPad 3
  2. Samsung Galaxy S3
  3. iPad Mini
  4. Nexus 7
  5. Galaxy Note 2
  6. Play Station
  7. iPad 4
  8. Microsoft Surface
  9. Kindle Fire
  10. Nokia Lumia 920

Top Trending Athletes

  1. Jeremy Lin
  2. Michael Phelps
  3. Peyton Manning
  4. McKayla Maroney
  5. Junior Seau
  6. Sarah Burke
  7. Tom Daley
  8. Lance Armstrong
  9. Mario Balotelli
  10. Ryan Lochte

Top Trending Video Games In U.S.

  1. Diablo 3
  2. Borderlands 2
  3. Mass Effect 3
  4. Halo 4
  5. Skyrim
  6. Black Ops 2
  7. Madden NFL 13
  8. Resident Evil 6
  9. WrestleMania XXVIII
  10. FIFA 13

Top Google Doodles in U.S.

  1. Soccer Doodle
  2. Moog Doodle
  3. Turing Doodle
  4. Halloween Doodle
  5. Nemo Doodle
  6. Zipper Doodle
  7. Valentine’s Day Doodle
  8. Archery Doodle
  9. Father’s Day Doodle
  10. Faberge Doodle

What do you think? Were you surprised by these results, or do they seem pretty much on key with what you've seen over the past year? For more about Google, I invite you to read the following resources:

  • An Introduction to Google: Learn how to optimize your site for Google on the cheap sucessfully, using tried and true search engine optimization techniques and tools.
  • Google Advanced Search Shortcuts: Add some oomph to your Google searches with this handy table ...
  • Google Quiz: Think you know Google? Test your Google knowledge with this fun Google Quiz at About.com.

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