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Google is expanding its line of products with Google Zeitgeist 2012, the new service enabling users to explore the top trending topics of the year both worldwide and by country. It is now available to browse 1.2 trillion search queries in 146 languages and get an insight into what people were mostly concerned about in 2012, both worldwide and in specific countries and regions.

Perhaps the importance of Google Zeitgeist and that of cataloging search terms will be fully appreciated in the future, when it becomes the invaluable tool for historical research. Imagine how cool it would be if we could access the top trending issues of various historical periods with only two clicks of a mouse.

Eric Schmidt introducing Google Zeitgeist 2012

Eric Schmidt introducing Google Zeitgeist 2012

Spirit of the Time

The word Zeitgeist is a philosophical term that can be translated from German as ‘spirit of the time’, so it is a convenient title for the latest product from Google. The idea of cataloging and crunching the huge amounts of data people exchange every day is not new, but this could be achieved only in this time, with Google and Internet being the resources we use every day. Thus, the very idea of Google Zeitgeist is another reflection of the spirit of our own time, the Digital Age of the 21st century. Hardly anything can get lost to posterity these days.

Google Zeitgeist

Google Zeitgeist welcomes the visitors with a neatly created video called ‘Zeitgeist 2012: Year In Review’, featuring the collage of the most iconic world events of 2012:

The users are also able to explore the interactive map of the world a point along a timeline to see when and where search topics happened. Google Zeitgeist also features lists of the most-searched and the biggest trending topics on Google worldwide. According to Google, the biggest trending topics are “queries with the highest amount of traffic over a sustained period in 2012 as compared to 2011.”

Top Search Queries

The most trending Google search terms in 2012 are:

01. Whitney Houston
02. Gangnam Style
03. Hurricane Sandy
04. iPad 3
05. Diablo 3
06. Kate Middleton
07. Olympics 2012
08. Amanda Todd
09. Michael Clarke Duncan
10. BBB12

The top  events of 2012 are:

01. Hurricane Sandy
02. Kate Middleton Pictures Released
03. Olympics 2012
04. SOPA Debate
05. Costa Concordia crash
06. Presidential Debate
07. Stratosphere Jump
08. Penn State Scandal
09. Trayvon Martin shooting
10. Pussy Riots

The top people of 2012 are:

01. Whitney Houston
02. Kate Middleton
03. Amanda Todd
04. Michael Clarke Duncan
05. One Direction
06. Felix Baumgartner
07. Jeremy Lin
08. Morgan Freeman
09. Joseph Kony
10. Donna Summer


These and other lists of the Google Zeitgeist website represent the wrap-up of the year 2012 according to Google. More info can be found on the Google Zeitgeist, in 146 languages and sorted by countries and regions. While at this point Google Zeitgeist may seem to be little more than an interesting website, its true power will surely be obvious in the years (and hopefully) decades to come.

The company’s motto “Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” is once again closely followed and Google Zeitgeist is a genuine mine of the world’s information, more accessible than ever before.

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