Google searchers craved Rebecca Black in 2011
SAN FRANCISCO—Teen singing sensation Rebecca Black topped a Google Zeitgeist list of hot search subjects marking the spirit of 2011.
The Internet colossus on Thursday released a breakdown of the most attention-grabbing people, happenings or things as revealed by a study of billions of queries handled by the world’s leading search engine.
Black, whose pop song “Friday” became a YouTube sensation, was the “fastest rising” search subject — the term with the highest growth during the year — followed by the Google+ social network launched in a challenge to Facebook.
Culture-changing technology firm Apple took three of the top 10 spots, with people around the world flooding the Internet with queries about the latest iPhone and iPad devices and co-founder Steve Jobs, who died in October.
Singer Adele, whose new album “21” rocketed to success, made the list, along with Electronic Arts war shooter videogame “Battlefield 3,” which sold five million copies in the week after it was released.
The tragedy wrought by the earthquake and tsunami that damaged the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan seized the world’s attention, along with a car crash that killed “Jackass” reality television show daredevil Ryan Dunn.
Courtroom drama also drew searchers, with people turning to the Internet to track the trial of young US mother Casey Anthony who was found not guilty of charges she murdered her two-year-old daughter.
Hurricane Irene was the fastest rising search subject in the news category, while the leading image search for the year was for pictures of “planking” — people laying face down in unexpected places with their arms pressed to their sides.
An interactive website devoted to the findings was online at googlezeitgeist.com.