December 13, 2012
The death of Whitney Houston Feb. 11 sparked 2012’s biggest hike in U.S. search traffic, beating out Hurricane Sandy and last month’s presidential election, which placed second and third respectively on Google’s year-end Zeitgeist report.
Whitney Houston topped both the trending and the people searches for 2012.
Google describes “trending” queries as the searches that had the highest amount of traffic over a sustained period in 2012 compared to 2011. The “most searched” queries are the most popular terms for 2012—ranked in order of the queries with the largest volume of searches.
Hurricane Sandy and the presidential election placed first and second respectively on the trending events list.
While some items on the most-searched lists are understandable: Whitney Houston, Hurricane Sandy, the election and the 2012 Olympics (which ranked sixth), some items truly are head-scratchers.
Gangnam Style, for instance, placed eighth on the trending searches list. Seriously? Gangnam Style is a K-pop (Korean pop) single by South Korean musician PSY.
How does a pop song rate higher than Kony 2012, for instance? Kony 2012 is a short film released in March to promote the charity’s “Stop Kony” movement to make Ugandan cult and militia leader Joseph Kony, an indicted war criminal and International Criminal Court fugitive known internationally in the hopes he will be arrested by the end of 2012.
The fact that searches for the movie Hunger Games (which placed fourth) and basketball player Jeremy Lin (fifth) were more interesting to the masses than the tragic story of bullying-victim Amanda Todd also is rather sad. The Canadian teen hung herself after posting a video to YouTube in which she used flash cards to explain how she was blackmailed, bullied, and physically assaulted.
Michael Clarke Duncan, an American actor who died in September at the age of 55, also made the trending search list in the ninth slot.
Below is a list of the top searches of 2012.
United States Trending Searches 2012
Michael Clarke Duncan
United States Trending Events 2012
UEFA Euro 2012
Trayvon Martin Case
United States Trending Athletes 2012
United States Trending People 2012
Michael Clark Duncan
United States Most Searched Movies 2012
The Hunger Games
The Dark Knight Rises
21 Jump Street
Paranormal Activity 4
United States Most Searched Songs 2012
Boyfriend, Justin Bieber
Gangnam Style, PSY
Call Me Maybe, Carly Rae Jepsen
Somebody that I Used to Know, Gotye
Some Nights, Fun
Die Young, Ke$ha
Wide Awake, Katy Perry
As Long As You Love Me, Justin Bieber
Pop That, French Montana
Mercy, Kanye West
United States Trending TV Shows 2012
Here Comes Honey Boo Boo
Big Brother 14
666 Park Avenue
Alcatraz TV Show
The New Normal
Switched At Birth
United States Most Searched TV Shows 2012
Game of Thrones
Big Bang Theory
Pretty Little Liars
How I Met Your Mother
United States Most Searched Celebrity Breakups 2012
Justin Bieber & Selena Gomez
Heidi Klum & Seal
Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes
Robert Pattinson & Kristen Stewart
Johnny Depp & Vanessa Paradis
Peter Facinelli and Jennie Garth
Amy Poehler & Will Arnett
Adam Levine & Anne Vyalitsyna
Avril Lavigne & Brody Jenner
Courtney Robertson & Ben Flajnik
United States Trending “What Is” Searches 2012
What is SOPA?
What is Scientology?
What is Kony?
What is Yolo?
What is Instagram?
What is Pinterest?
What is Lent?
What is Obamacare?
What is iCloud?
What is Planking?