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What have Sarah Palin, Heath Ledger and the Jonas Brothers all got in common?

Posted by putsimply on 10th December 2008

Unfortunately there’s no side splitting punch line here … despite me wracking my brains for a good joke … the answer is they are number one, five and ten respectively, in Google Zeitgeist – a list of the world’s ten most popular Google search terms of 2008.

There was a time when the statistics would have us believe that the Internet was almost entirely populated by sexually frustrated men hunting for pictures of Britney Spears. It seems those days are now behind us. Our obsessions have now evolved to include dead actors, bad American boy-bands and surprise surprise, social networking.

Palin, Heath and the Jo Bros aside, four of the top 10 are social networking sites. That’s pretty impressive and further evidence to us PR folk that this medium should not be ignored.

Facebook, in at number three, is perhaps an obvious one. More surprising is Spanish site ‘tuenti’ in at number four, amazingly ahead of US president Obama. Polish facebook clone ‘nasza klasa’ at number seven and German ‘wer kennt wen’ at eight are also quite surprising… to me at least.

The year’s two big sporting events complete the list with Beijing 2008 at number two and Euro 2008 at nine.

Google goes on to breakdown regional rankings per country but it’s mostly very predictable. However, possibly the oddest stat has to be in Malaysia where ‘google’ is the sixth most popular search term in Google. I can’t begin to fathom that one.

What’s also clear from the stats is that EML’s now famous ‘bake off’ competition should take credit for inspiring a nation of bakers as evidenced by ‘cupcake’ being ranked as the UK’s most searched recipe. What other explanation could there possibly be?