Did Your Searches Make the Google Zeitgeist in 2011?

Julie Goode, Entertainment Editor

“Zeitgeist” is a word that means spirit or mood of the times. Google has come up with a website that reveals our generations spirit of the times through their search engine. It’s called Google Zeitgeist and it gives us the power to see what search trends were fastest rising whether global, regional, in the past, the present, etc. Focusing on 2011, Google Zeitgeist just released a list revealing the top ten most popular and fastest rising searched items of 2011 through the millions of world wide search queries they received through Google this past year. The list sums up the year of 2011 in media, and although the year has come to an end, we can remember it though Google Zeitgeist.

1) Rebecca Black
Rebecca Black was your average teenage girl before her original music video, “Friday”, went viral in 2011. Perhaps to laugh at her attempt of pop music, or just out of pure curiosity of who she was, Rebecca’s break out video resulted in millions of Google searches her and landing her the number one spot on Google’s list.

2) Google+

Google+ was the first big threat to Facebook when it was launched this past year. Google created it’s own combination of social networking and Internet searching with many aspects similar and different to Facebook and more. Google+ could slowly but shortly steal Facebook’s crown landing this spot on Google’s list.

3) Ryan Dunn

Out of the many celebrity deaths in 2011, Jackass star, Ryan Dunn, grabbed the most attention from the people being the fastest rising top search of the year. The passing of Dunn was not a Jackass stunt gone wrong, but instead a tragic drunk driving accident taking his life at the age of 34.

4) Casey Anthony

The most controversial trial since OJ Simpson’s back in the 1990’s, Casey Anthony’s court proceedings and shocking verdict made the case the “trial of the century”. Charged against first degree murder of her 2 year old daughter in May 2011, Casey Anthony was found not guilty and only convicted of misdemeanor counts of lying to police officers.

5) Battlefield 3

Popular video game, Battlefield 3 sold 5 million copies within its first week of release in October 2011. The interactive shooting game has topped every video game released in 2011 by being the fifth most searched-for trend in the world.

6) iPhone 5

The only non-existent item on the list, the iPhone 5 was the sixth top search, and has still yet to come out. Eager Apple fans got word of a possible iPhone 5 and went straight to the Internet, but it never came. Instead the iPhone 4s was released but failed to top the amount of searches for the iPhone 5.

7) Adele

Music artist, Adele, released her album, 21, in January 2011 and pretty much rocked the music industry. Her soulful voice captured millions this past year, and a nomination for many major music award categories too. Adele took the seventh spot on Google’s list, the only music artist in the top 10, unless you count Rebecca Black.

8 ) 東京 電力

Translating to The Tokyo Electric Power Company, many Japanese residents evacuated their homes under order of the government during the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that damaged the Fukushima I Nuclear Plant reactors causing a very fatal incident that ravaged the country of Japan. The world collectively held it’s breathe for Japan landing the tragedy the eighth spot on the list.

9) Steve Jobs

The world lost the “Edison of Our Time”, to a previously treated pancreatic cancer relapse in October 2011. The co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Inc. helped to create innovations that had done nothing short of change the world, not only for the Apple Industry but outside of it too. The death of Steve Jobs hurt millions, but also enlightened for those who didn’t know, who he was and his amazing accomplishments.

10) iPad 2

The third Apple related search trend on the list, the iPad 2 was the must have gadget of 2011. As well as the iPhone 4s, the iPad 2 sold out immediately when it was released this past year. The revolution of tablet computing took the last spot on the top ten list; maybe a third iPad will take its place next year.

Unlike the Barbara Walters specials, or the Time Magazine lists, Google Zeitgeist shows us what we the people were most interested in around the world in the year 2011. The list is pretty valid, defining the year 2011 through the media. What was left out? And what shouldn’t have made the list?