Top Google searches: Rebecca Black, Steve Jobs and a fictional phone

by Dale Wright

Justin Bieber fans, look away now. Rebecca Black has beaten him to the top of the charts for 2011 – at least according to Google.

The new Google Zeitgeist report analyses the most popular search terms through the year, and found that ‘Rebecca Black’ was the fastest rising phrase internationally. Poor Justin doesn’t even make the top ten overall, but he was one of the top UK news searches.

At number two in the overall fastest rising chart is ‘Google+’, the social network Google launched at the end of June.

Three search terms in the top ten are Apple-related: the non existent ‘iPhone 5’ is at number 6, with searches peaking a few days before the iPhone 4S was finally announced. The ever-popular ‘iPad 2’ is at number 10. ‘Steve Jobs’ is the ninth most searched-for term of the year; the number of search queries for the Apple CEO soared by 982% and peaked when he passed away in October. The amount of people seeking information on Jobs was vastly higher than the number of people searching for the US president Barack Obama.

Overall, technology-related searches accounted for half of all searches performed through Google this year. The most searched-for gadget term was ‘iPod Touch 5G’, followed by ‘HP Touchpad’. The term ‘Amazon Kindle Fire’ was the fastest rising search term in consumer electronics, (Speaking of which, we now do a Kindle Fire Case for this) followed by ‘iPhone 4s’. The search phrase ‘iPad 3’ – the new Apple tablet which is due in April if rumours are to be believed – entered the fastest rising consumer electronics chart at number 10.

In the top celebrity searches across the world this year, the only male to appear in the top ten is Ricky Gervais.

When the chart is broken down into the top UK searches, ‘Facebook’ is at number one, followed by ‘YouTube’, ‘Hotmail’, ‘eBay’, ‘Google’ and ‘BBC’. This suggests Brits use Google or their address bar to search for a website, rather than creating bookmarks – or perhaps we’re just forgetful.

Have you seen Google’s new Winter Wonderland feature? Type ‘Let it snow’ into the search bar to have a look for yourself.