Dec. 9, 2010 at 1:23 PM ET
Google has spun off many products, including a few that debuted this week: a Chrome notebook, a revamped Google Groups and the latest Android mobile OS, the 3.0 "Honeycomb," but its bread-and-butter is still search.
That powerhouse redefined how we search and made "Googled" a verb.
In the year-end report, the Google Zeitgeist 2010, the top global events based on search queries were: the World Cup (in South Africa), the Olympics (in Vancouver), the Haiti earthquake, the Gulf oil spill and the Iceland ash cloud (from the challenging to spell volcano name). This year, Google has added interactive HTML5 data visualizations for the top queries and events from around the world.
While humanity seemed to gravitate toward natural disasters and sports, depending on the time of year, technology was constantly on the minds of those everywhere.
Google mentioned it in its Zeitgeist 2010 blog:
2010 was also a big year for the tech-obsessed, with the iPad capturing the attention of gadget junkies, reaching the top 10 fastest rising list in no fewer than 13 countries as well as the global fastest rising list.
The iPad was the fastest rising query in the consumer electronics category worldwide, and within the U.S., it was the fastest rising query overall. Following it in fastest rising: chatroulette, iPhone 4, World Cup and Justin Bieber, who also led worldwide in fastest rising entertainment and people queries. (Admit it, once "Baby" gets in your head, it's hard to get it out!) Facebook and "Glee" rounded out the top 10, as well as Myxer, Grooveshark and Mocospace.
Other top searches in the worldwide consumer electronics category: iPhone 4, Nokia 5530, HTC Evo 4G, Nokia N900, Blackberry apps, Duracell myGrid, Twitter (in Korean), Otterbox and PdaNet.
Within Google News, Americans showed a penchant for loving pop culture and sports scandals as much as serious news, with the oil spill, Haiti, earthquake, immigration and unemployment sharing the top 10 with Oscar-winner Sandra Bullock, (Brett) Favre, Lindsay Lohan and Tiger Woods. Showing penetration in nearly every category, Apple was the lone tech term in this category.
No big surprises on these lists, although some don't say much for the human race and its tastes in that so many searches were devoted to: the GTL-loving "Jersey Shore" (No.1 in Google Image searches in the U.S.) and "Transformers 3" (No.10 worldwide in entertainment searches).