Google’s 11th annual Zeitgeist lists, rankings of its fastest rising searches, came out today, and “Rebecca Black,” “Google +” and “Ryan Dunn” were the fastest rising search terms worldwide in 2011.
Rebecca Black is the teenager whose amateur music video “Friday” became a YouTube sensation. Ryan Dunn was an MTV star who appeared on the show “Jackass” and died in a car accident in June at age 34. Google + is Google’s social network.
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Searches on the Japanese name for the utility company that operated the Fukushima I Plant and “Steve Jobs” also made the top ten fastest rising searches globally.
According to MSNBC:
Google's annual Zeitgeist is a look back at the year and its fastest rising search terms — as opposed to staples like such as "Lady Gaga" and "Justin Bieber," who have reigned in popular searches for a while. "Fastest rising" gives a better indication of what was hot at different points during the year.
“When looking at the data, it is fascinating to see the cultural fads and trends that took over the globe, from cupcakes (making top food lists in over a dozen countries) to the Dukan diet and high-profile weddings,” Google said in a blog posting, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.
The Zeitgeist provides lists for a selection of individual countries, and these lists provide a tantalizing, and often confounding, glimpse of how Web users’ concerns vary by region – or perhaps, who’s online in different places.
In the category of “What is…?” searches, for example, South Africans and Americans both relied on the Internet to answer their health questions (“What is HIV,” “What is AIDS” and “What is cancer” made South Africa’s top ten while the top ten US "What is...?" searches included searches on gluten, autism, lupus and gout.)
British searchers, perhaps because of their National Health Service, didn’t have as many health queries (only “What is piles” made the UK top ten), but turned to the Internet for help with legal and culinary issues, including “What is copyright,” “What is probate,” “What is scampi” and “What is truffle.”
And in Brazil, Web searchers sought assistance understanding the environment. Two of the top five “What is…?” searches in Brazil asked for explanations of sustainability and biodiversity.