Well, this is convenient. Google published its 2011 Zeitgeist list of the fastest-growing search terms of the year. The No. 2 term on the list, right behind No. 1 “Rebecca Black,” is its own product, “Google+”. Since nobody ever heard of Google+ until this year, and it received loads of news coverage as Google’s strongest attempt yet to take on Facebook, searches for the term rose more than 10,000 percent.
Remember, Google’s Zeitgeist is a curated list based on the fastest-growing search terms of the past year, not the ones with the most absolute volume. This focus produces a more interesting list of trending topics for the year. Overall, the list this year is Apple-heavy with “iPhone 5” (No. 6), “Steve Jobs” (No. 9), and “iPad2” (No. 10) all showing up. The Japanese word for Fukushima, “東京 電力” (No. 8), also made it, as did “Battlefield 3” (No. 3) and “Casey Anthony” (No. 4).
This year, Google is picking up its game with animated charts and other visualizations. It also breaks out sub-lists of Fastest-Falling searches (sorry, MySpace, Hi5, and Meebo), Fastest-Rising People (Black, Jobs, Adele, Charlie Sheen), and Fastest-Rising Consumer Electronics (Kindle Fire is No. 1, beating out iPhone 4S).
Also check out Twitter’s Year in Review and Yahoo’s top searches of 2011. Below is a comparison of Google’s and Yahoo’s top 10 searches for 2011.
Google’s Fastest-Growing Searches 2011
1. Rebecca Black
3. Ryan Dunn
4. Casey Anthony
5. Battlefield 3
6. iPhone 5
8. 東京 電力 (Fukishama)
9. Steve Jobs
Yahoo’s Top 10 Searches 2011
Osama bin Laden