Friday, 16 December 2011

Search Habits Die Hard

Yesterday Google released its annual Zeitgeist survey results for 2011, charting the top UK search trends of the year. The survey results include top searches for consumer electronics/gadgets, fastest rising films and sporting events, and unsurprisingly most searched bargain websites, perhaps a reflection of the state of the current economy.

As someone who keeps up with popular culture, there were no real surprises to me in the results, with The Royal Wedding topping the ‘Fastest Rising Search’ list and celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Charlie Sheen making appearances in most-searched-for results after their public goings-on this year.

They do however reveal some quite interesting search engine habits. For example the apparent increase in people who turn to Google as an immediate news source is demonstrated by Ryan Dunn being the fastest rising in 2011, no doubt as a result of his tragic death earlier this year triggered by drink driving. However, Kate Middleton, arguably the most talked about and high profile lady in the UK currently, rolls into 8th place.

It is encouraging to see the ‘What is’ list topped by ‘What is AV?’ highlighting that the population are making use of the internet to get to grips with some more intricate issues.

I also noticed how quickly ‘reality’ stars gain their five minutes of fame with YouTube sensation Rebecca Black shooting into 3rd place in the ‘Fastest Rising People’ list. However, it’s also seen to be working the other way with has-beens such as Heidi Montag, Joe McElderry and Alexandra Burke taking spots on the ‘Fastest Falling People’ list.

Some of the more interesting inclusions in today’s results include ‘How to snog’ ‘What is scampi’, and ‘What are piles’, proving that there are no limits as to what the UK public will search for. There was also a glimmer of promise for the education sector when ‘How to revise’ topped the ‘How to’ list.

There have been mixed reaction to the results and whilst I agree none of it is exactly groundbreaking stuff, it demonstrates well the cultural shift in the UK and to some extent the train of thought of the population.

So on that note, who’s got predictions for 2012?


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