What mattered in 2011? Year in Google Review.

What mattered in 2011? Google has released its Zeitgeist 2011 review looking back on the search engine's top trends of the year.Zeitgeist sorted billions of Google searches to capture the year's 10 fastest-rising global queries and the rest of the spirit of 2011.

The company has launched a mini site where visitors can explore interactive lists of the most popular topics that users queried Google to find. Here, you can see the fastest-rising global search terms and compare more specific categories of search trends, such as the fastest-falling search terms or the fastest-rising consumer gadgets. Google also breaks its data down by country; users viewing search data for the U.S. can check out lists of the top 10 searches across categories like sports, news and celebrity.

In a post on the Google Blog, Google fellow Amit Singhal, marveled at the various search terms that highlight cultural drifts and momentous events that took place around the world this year. Writes Singhal:

    "When looking at the data, it is fascinating to see the cultural fads and trends that took over the globe, from cupcakes (making top food lists in over a dozen countries) to the Dukan diet and high-profile weddings, but Google was used for much more than staying up to date on the sisters Middleton and Kardashian. From local celebrities in Finland to Singaporeans looking for news on the revolutions in Egypt and Libya half a world away, people turned to Google to learn more about what was happening on the world stage. It wasn’t just the man-made moments that topped the charts this year, but also the natural disasters that literally shook the world, from Hurricane Irene in the U.S. to the earthquakes in Christchurch and Japan."

This year, the top global searches that spiked fastest in popularity included the death of two public figures, a gadget that never launched, an awesomely bad YouTube video and more. Check out the slideshow (below) to view the 9 fastest-rising Google searches of 2011. You can also take a look at our Zeitgeist 2010 coverage to see how trends have shifted since last December. To compare Google's year-end review data with that of rival search engine's check out Yahoo's top 10 searches of 2011 and the most popular gadgets on Bing. Then, take a look at the 15 most-shared news stories on Facebook, as well as the top 7 Twitter hashtags from the past year.


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