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This article was published on December 12, 2012


How the world searched in 2012: Google Zeitgeist report reveals 1.2 trillion searches across 146 languages

How the world searched in 2012: Google Zeitgeist report reveals 1.2 trillion searches across 146 languages
Paul Sawers
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Paul Sawers

Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.

Unless you’ve been living in a hole these past twelve months, there’s a good chance you’ve used Google at least once to search for something online.

With that in mind, the Internet giant has revealed some of the key search trends in 2012, in its annual report which reveals trends on a global level and, indeed, by country.

The full Google’s Zeitgeist 2012 website is now live, marking its 12th annual look at all the searches that constituted what it calls the year’s ‘Zeitgeist’ – or, the spirit of the time.

The top trending search term in 2012 was Whitney Houston, who died in February. Unsurprisingly, Gangnam Style featured highly in second place, while Hurricane Sandy, iPad 3, Diablo 3 and Kate Middleton made up the remaining top 5.

The full top ten search terms were as follows:

  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

You can also take a peek at the top image searches (One Direction), Athletes (Jeremy Lin), Feature Films (The Hunger Games)…and a slew of other topic-specific trends.

By way of reference, so-called ‘Web celeb’ Rebecca Black was the number one fastest rising search query globally last year.

Meanwhile, you can check out the full 2012 Zeitgeist report for yourself here…or view Google’s ‘Year in Review’ video for yourself right here: