[QODLink]
Americas

Google captures 2012 zeitgeist

The internet giant's analysis reveals that Whitney Houston topped the world's search term rankings.
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2012 20:49

Tragedy, technology and trivia have drawn the most curiosity from the world's online population this year, according to global search engine Google.

Whitney Houston, the pop singer who died after a battle with drug addiction, topped the world's search term rankings, with K-pop phenomenon Gangnam Style, Hurricane Sandy and Apple's iPad 3 also high on the list.

And among the 1.2 trillion queries made in more than 140 languages, the "how-to" searches are also revealing.

Singaporeans want to know how to rock, how to DJ and how to rap - while Nigerians want to know how to love, how to do better at romance - and also how to rap.

And when it comes to exercise, those in US are keen to find out how to improve their abs, build shoulder mass and bulk up their chests.

"I was surprised that the tenth most popular search in the world this year was 'Big Brother Brazil'," Ben Parr, a columnist for the technology site CNET, told Al Jazeera. "For the US, it was 'American Idol' and 'The Voice' which dominated in terms of TV shows."

The popularity of certain search terms indicates the popularity of cultural trends - from TV to technology.

"Some things weren't on the list," said Parr. "The iPad was on the list... but no iPhones, which also surprised me. It's a world of tablets now."

It has been a changing year for Google as well, with the company grappling with European anti-trust plans, Chinese censorship bids and cyber-security alerts around its global email service.

This week, the California-based multinational - one of the world's largest tech sector companies - has partnered with Israeli officials to launch an online library of more than 5,000 images of ancient biblical artifacts The Dead Sea Scrolls.

295

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
As nuclear age approaches eighth decade, visitors flock to historic bomb craters at New Mexico test sites.
Venezuela's president lacks the charisma and cult of personality maintained by the late Hugo Chavez.
Despite the Geneva deal, anti-government protesters in Ukraine's eastern regions don't intend to leave any time soon.
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
join our mailing list