Google Zeitgeist Reveals Top Web Searches of the Year | Adweek Google Zeitgeist Reveals Top Web Searches of the Year | Adweek
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Apple, Google+ Among Top Web Searches in 2011

Nike, Pizza Hut, and Target among top brands in Google Zeitgeist

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Google’s annual list of the world’s top searches is out and it looks like technology is represented in a big way.

For the 11th year, the company mined its billions of search queries to share 2011’s Zeitgeist, or as it says, the “spirit of the times.” Not only does it include the most popular and fastest-rising (search terms with the highest annual growth) general searches from around the world, it drills down to look at the year’s top news items, entertainment stories, fads, apparel brands, and more.

In the U.S., four of the top 10 fastest-rising overall searches from Google.com are related to tech. Google+ nabbed the No. 2 spot, with social catalog startup Pinterest in fourth place, the iPhone 5 in sixth place, and Steve Jobs rounding out the list at No. 10.

Pop singer Rebecca Black leads the list in first place, followed by Hurricane Irene (3), Ryan Dunn (5), Casey Anthony (7), Adele (8), and Osama Bin Laden (9).

The global list of the fastest-rising searches was also tech heavy. On that list, Google+ came in second again, followed by video game Battlefield 3 in fifth, the iPhone 5 in sixth, Steve Jobs in ninth, and the iPad 2 in 10th place. Other top searches include Rebecca Black (1), Ryan Dunn (3), Casey Anthony (4), Adele (7), and  東京 電力(TEPCO, the owners of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant devastated in the Japanese earthquake) (10). Google said this term was the first non-Latin search term to make the global list of the fastest-rising searches.

Google’s annual report also featured several of the world’s top brands. On its list of top apparel brands in the U.S., Nike, Victoria's Secret, and Zappos led the pack, and on the list of popular U.S. restaurants, Pizza Hut, Dominos, and Papa John’s took the top spots. Under the report’s “quirky” category, it included a list of the most popular coupon searches, which was led by Target, Lowe’s, and Hobby Lobby.

Other interesting lists include people (led by Justin Bieber), weddings (topped by Kim Kardashian’s wedding), fastest-rising political scandals (featuring the Murdoch scandal), and fastest-rising product searches (led by the now deeply discounted HP Touchpad).

The report also included lists of the search items that lost the most steam in 2011. In the U.S., the list of the fastest-falling search terms was led by 2010 calendar, MySpace, Meebo, and Mapquest Driving Directions.