What in the World is a Zeitgeist?

Google and the Story of Top Searches

What in the world is a Zeitgeist? The word Zeitgeist is German in origin and means "spirit of the times" in reference to general cultural, political, intellectual climate or mood of a given time period. A documentary movie by the same name surfaced in 2007. In a high-tech infTop Internet Searchesormation age, few indicators are more predictive of what is on people's minds than what those people search for on Google. Enter Google Zeitgeist 2011.  Zeitgeist sorted billions of Google searches to capture the year's 10 fastest rising queries. The spirit of 2011 reveals itself! 

The Google Zeitgeist 2011 Top Ten List

  1. Rebecca Black: Rebecca Black made her début on the Internet with the making of "Friday", her 2011 pop single. Notoriety and fame followed the 13-year-old when the YouTube video went viral.
  2. Google+: Google launched itself into social networking space in June of 2011 with the launch of Google+. When one is Google, people listen. Within less than a month of the relase of Google+, over 10 million people joined.
  3. Ryan Dunn: Tragically, the reality show daredevil lost his life in a car accident on June 20, 2011. He was 34 years old. The star was best remembered for his roles in TV broadcasts "Jackass" and "Viva La Barn."
  4. Casey Anthony: A Florida district attorney filed a charge of first degree murder  against Casey Anthony.  The case charged Anthony with the murder of Caylee, her two-year old daughter. Caylee's body was found near the Anthony home in an area close to Orlando. A stunned courtroom and nation watched as she was found not guilty in July of 2011 in a Orlando, Florida court.
  5. Battlefield 3: Long live video games! Much hyped release of the shooter video game defined success with over 5 million copies sold in its first week.
  6. iPhone 5: The world once again stayed abuzz about a new gadget coming from the iconic Apple folks. Anticipation of the newest and greatest smart phone by Apple began months before its release. Rumored features included edge to edge glass, a larger screen, a better camera than in earlier models, and extensive voice controls.
  7. Adele: One way for a 22-year-old to launch to international acclaim and success is to sell 208,000 copies of an album in the first week of its release. The singer, Adele, stood the music industry on its ear with the release of her album "21," with just such statistics in the UK.
  8. TEPCP Fukishima Power Plant: An earthquake severely damaged the nuclear power plant in Japan. The government there ordered that thousands of residents living in close radius evacuate.
  9. Steve Jobs: Inspirational is a word that could be one of thousands to describe the technological wizard and visionary, Steve Jobs. The Apple leader  revolutionized the way people think of technology through development of Macintosh computers, iPods, iPads and iPhones. Jobs  succumbed to his battle with cancer in 2011.
  10.  iPad2: Over half million  tablets sold within days of their release. The tablet world changed when the lightweight, sleeker alternative to the previously released version hit the market. The first week saw the technological marvel sold out.

Speculation on entries for the  Google Zeitgeist 2012 list is futile as it is all about what is important at the minute. Bets hedged on the fact that it will give an interesting glimpse back at the year are safe wagers as is true with the 2011 list.