Rebecca Black, Steve Jobs among hottest 2011 searches on Google
Google Zeitgeist annually charts the fastest-rising search terms on the site
The nonexistent iPhone 5 (Apple actually launched the 4S) made the top 10
Once dominant Myspace was among the fastest-dropping search terms of the year
Oh, Rebecca Black. You gave us a reason to reconsider our favorite day of the workweek. And, apparently, the Internet couldn’t get enough.
Black, the teen songstress who became a YouTube sensation with the bubblegum ear worm “Friday,” topped the Google Zeitgeist list of hot search terms in 2011.
Released in March, the largely reviled tune caused searches for the then-13-year-old’s name to increase more than 10,000% over the past year, Google reported Wednesday.
This year was the 11th for Zeitgeist, Google’s look at search trends for the year. The report, rendered with interactive images and detailed infographics, breaks down searches by country and region as well as tallying global activity.
“From local celebrities in Finland to Singaporeans looking for news on the revolutions in Egypt and Libya half a world away, people turned to Google to learn more about what was happening on the world stage,” Google’s Amit Singhal wrote on the company’s official blog.
The top 10 wasn’t all breezy pop songs. “Jackass” star Ryan Dunn, who died in a car crash in June, was the third-hottest search, while Steve Jobs, the Apple co-founder who died in October, was ninth.
Jobs was already an internationally known name. But searches for him still rose 982% over 2010, Google said, with traffic peaking the week after his death.
It was a big year for technology overall, and Google’s results show it.
The company’s own Google+ social network was second on the list. (If that seems all too convenient, note that Zeitgeist rankings consider how fast a search term rises. So something that didn’t exist last year, like Google+ or Rebecca Black’s career, is inevitably going to have an advantage.)
Massive video game release “Battlefield 3” was fifth on the list, and the iPad 2 was 10th.
Squeezed between those two offerings, at No. 6, was a tech world product that doesn’t even exist: the iPhone 5. Google says searches for that term peaked the week of September 25, days before Apple lovers learned that the new phone they were getting was, in fact, called the iPhone 4S.
Singer Adele, Japan’s damaged Fukushima power plant and acquitted murder suspect Casey Anthony rounded out the top 10.
Of course, where there are top risers, there are fastest fallers.
As Google+ emerged (albeit to what appears to be waning interest), former social networking hot spot Myspace slid, becoming the fastest-dropping search term.
Delta Air Lines, Chinese Web services company Baidu (a Google rival during the company’s now-terminated efforts there) and the Spanish-language search “Hotmail correo” also saw big dips, compared with their 2010 search rankings.