There is perhaps no better metric for determining the hottest trends of the year than by looking at Google search data.
Enter Google Zeitgeist 2011. The search giant has just released the annual stats. “With Zeitgeist, we look at the most popular and fastest rising terms–the terms with the highest growth in 2011– in many categories across many countries around the world,” wrote Google in a blog post.
The numbers ended up showing that, kind of shockingly, Rebecca Black was the most popular search.
Black, of course, rose to instant and massive name recognition early this year for her song “Friday,” which is super catchy and a well-put-together music video, but Black’s nasal voice and the wildly inane lyrics made it something to make fun of more than anything else.
Of course, there were far more important stories in the news in 2011 – Steve Jobs died, Kim Kardashian got married and immediately divorced, Hurricane Irene affected millions of East Coast residents, and Osama Bin Laden was killed.
All these stories were among the other top-ranking Google searches but of course were all time sensitive. In addition, Black’s music video went viral early in the year, allowing it to generate a lot of traffic in the calendar year.
Another one of Google’s top searches was in fact a Google product, the online giant’s social network Google+.
2011 was quite a year – Charlie Sheen, the Japanese tsunami, Muamma Gaddafi…the number of big stories this year is definitely impressive. Though most like, for most people, hearing that Rebecca Black came out as #1 will simply result in a reaction of “Really?”