The latest edition of Zeitgeist, Google’s annual summary of the year’s trending searches, is out, and it all but reinforces that we have gotten our priorities horribly wrong. In a year in which we witnessed inspiring revolutions in the Middle East, tragic floods in South America and elsewhere, and devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the Zeitgeist is dominated by celebrities and frivolous events.
Rebecca Black was the fastest rising search term in the US as well as around the world, while the Britons were captivated by the Royal Wedding, and Indians were perplexingly enough searching for Facebook on Google. Google Plus, Ryan Dunn, Casey Anthony, Battlefield 3, iPhone 5, Adele, and Steve Jobs were some of the other things the masses were searching for. The only news related search term to make it to the top ten was related to the TEPCO power outage.
The Zeitgeist is a reflection of public sentiment, and a sorry one at that. Enough Indian men were intrigued by a model’s promise of nudity to have propelled her into the top ten, while more pressing issues such as inflation and corruption didn’t even register. Year end reports published by Yahoo and Facebook also painted an equally embarrassing picture.
Zeitgeist 2011 features improved visualization tools and allows you to dig into month wise trend reports from across the globe spread over dozens of categories. Head over to googlezeitgeist.com and start exploring.