How will you remember 2011?

Will you remember 2011 as the year of political scandals, high profile weddings, or an NBA lockout? Today Google issued its annual Zeitgeist: a list of the hottest internet searches of 2011. The top 10 fastest rising searches are as interesting and diverse as the year itself:

Thirteen year old YouTube sensation, Rebecca Black comes in at number one after her song “Friday” went viral and received over 167 million views. The only other songstress on the list, performer Adele, comes in at number seven. Searches spiked for Adele after she performed her hit single “Someone Like You” at the MTV Video Music Awards in August.

Apple was by far the most searched company in 2011 garnering three spots on the list including the iPhone 5 (#6) , iPad 2 (#10), and founder Steve Jobs (#9) who passed away in October following a battle with cancer. Gamers anticipated the release of Battlefield 3 (#5). The first person shooter game sold over 5 million copies during its first week in stores.

Other popular technology news included the launch of Google + (#2) the internet giants own social networking site. Within 3 weeks the site had 10 million users. During July Google Plus accounted for more online searches than the word Sports.

The year’s news headlines did not fail to influence searches. Following the 9.0 earthquake in Japan, residents living near the Tepco Fukusima Plant (#8) were forced to evacuate due to the severe damage done to several nuclear reactors. Support and relief efforts immediately mobilized around the world.

Ryan Dunn, the “Jackass” and “Viva La Bam” stuntman was the # 3 fastest rising search after he was killed in a car accident on June 20, 2011. Following the accident MTV aired a show dedicated to Dunn’s life and career.

Casey Anthony (#4) was charged with first degree murder after the remains of her 2 year old daughter were discovered in the woods near her Orlando, FL home. On July 5, 2011 a jury found Casey not guilty. Time magazine called the case the “social media trial of the century”

From technology and trends to viral video’s and the Dalai Lama using social media the fastest rising searches of 2011 give us the opportunity to reflect on the year.


We can only ask, what will 2012 bring?


Check out Google’s complete list: