Google Tells Us What We Look For,Updated

December 11, 2008

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What do Sarah Palin, Facebook and Euro 2008 have in common?

They are all on the list of the top 10 fastest-rising queries on Google during 2008.

The search engine has published its year-end Zeitgeist, the tool which reveals what internet users are searching for.

The most searched term for Google users in the UK was Facebook while the BBC came second and its iPlayer service was the fastest rising query.

The list also reveals what global preoccupations are and this year the US election candidates and the Beijing Olympics figure high.

The things people around the globe have in common are a strong interest in socialising and politics, according to Marissa Mayer, vice-president of search at Google.

“Social networks comprised four out of the top 10 global fastest-rising queries while the US election held everyone’s interest around the globe,” she wrote on Google’s official blog.

Popular politicians

The economic crisis has made an impact on UK searchers with “money saving expert” and “hot uk deals” making the top 10 finance-related searches.

Gordon Brown will be pleased to hear that he beat David Cameron into second place on the list of most popular politicians among UK searchers.

Barack Obama made it into third place with rival John McCain coming in seventh.

Foodies were interested in recipes for cupcakes, meatballs, lemon posset and pork belly, while the hottest tickets in the UK went to Oasis and Leonard Cohen (first and second respectively).

Popular music

While news and weather tend to be the most searched for terms globally there are still plenty of country-specific quirks, according to Ms Mayer.

“Russians elected Dmitri Medvedev as their president but a couple of popular music acts got more attention from Google searchers,” she wrote.

In Poland the fifth fastest-rising term was Jozin z Bazin, the title of a 1978 Czech song which has been popular on YouTube.

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