Each year, Google analyzes the data from over one trillion searches completed across the globe using its search engine. This zeitgeist breaks down the data into several categories and provides the top 10 trending queries for each category. Lists are provided for the entire world, as well as broken down by country so that comparisons can be made as to what search queries were popular in one country compared to another, as well as compared to the rest of the world.
Google Zeitgeist 2012
In order to create the lists, Google sifted through 1.2 trillion searches that were completed in 146 languages using its search engine in 2012. Spam and repeat queries were filtered from the results to come up with the best lists of what searches were trending throughout the year.
Searches that are said to be trending are those that generated the most amount of traffic over a specific period of time during 2012 compared to 2011. Not only were lists of trending queries created, but the most searched terms lists give the most popular terms for all of 2012 due to the fact that they had the most number of searches completed on them and generated the most traffic.
Once the data was normalized and given a number from zero to 100, comparisons were made to come up with category lists. Based on the search query, it may fall in more than one category, and may also rank higher or lower based on the other queries found in the category list.
As well as breaking search query data down geographically and by category, sub-categories are also created to further analyze the data. The Overall category contains sub-category lists that encompass popular trends across the year, such as Searches, People, Events of the Year, Images, and How To lists. Other categories include News, Pop Culture, Sports, Fashion, Technology, and Science.
World Search Trends
The 2012 zeitgeist gives a quick overview of the big events of the year around the world by looking at the search trends. From federal elections to the Olympics and natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy, the lists of trending queries provide a good look at what people found interesting across the year and in different places in the world.
For example, the most searched term overall, and in the People category, was “Whitney Houston.” Whitney Houston passed away during 2012, and her death had a profound effect on people around the world, as she was a much beloved singer. In the U.S., as well as several other countries around the world, the term “Whitney Houston” trended the highest in the overall search query list as well as people search queries. Other popular searches throughout the world included Kate Middleton, iPad 3, and of course, the popular breakout song “Gangnam Style.”
U.S. Search Trends
There are lots of popular searches in the U.S. that also topped the charts worldwide. For example, everyone was searching for the ever-popular Justin Bieber and the newest boy band, One Direction. And of course, huge events of 2012 such as Hurricane Sandy and Olympics 2012 reached the top of the list in both the U.S. and the world.
However there are some differences. For example, “The Hunger Games,” the popular young adult book which is based on a movie of the same name, was a huge hit mainly in the U.S. “Election 2012” was also, not surprisingly on the minds of many Americans.
While Google provides a strong search engine for searching for general information, there are other websites that provide more specialized searches. If you are searching for a particular person, who is not a celebrity of some kind, using Google may actually make the search that much more difficult due to the wealth of information that is provided. In those instances, using PeopleFinders.com makes the people search easier, and a lot more successful. PeopleFinders only searches for people using specific data that you provide, meaning that any results you get are going to be people and not a lot of other useless general information.