Never has watching an organization pat itself on the back been more fun than Google Zeitgeist. The search engine that has become a part of the human experience has, each December since 2001, compiled a roundup of the year’s most popular search terms. This year's is the most global Zeitgeist yet: Google has compiled over 1,000 top ten lists from 72 countries around the world. Here’s a video salute to this year, complete with music designed to make you tear up:
Google's team also broke down popular search terms by region, and then by select country, allowing us to draw some conclusions about three countries in the Middle East. This year, Egyptians were obsessed with details of the socio-political upheavals in their country, and Saudis were worried about the Corona Virus outbreak and severe weather in Tabouk. Residents of the largely-expat UAE population, predictably, were the most outward-facing; they wanted to know all about new smartphones that were released this year (the iPhone 5S and the Samsung Galaxy s4), and global internet phenomena Gangnam Style and The Harlem Shake.
The most-searched person in Egypt was television personality and activist Bassem Youssef; in Saudi people wanted to know about Abdallah El Kharshami; and in the UAE, the most-searched person was Paul Walker, the actor who died earlier this month in a California car crash.
However disparate these results, residents of these countries still have one thing in common: they love Ramadan. The holiday was the most-searched term in both Egypt and the UAE, and the fourth most-searched in KSA.
The ten most-searched terms of the year globally were as follows:
1. Nelson Mandela
2. Paul Walker
3. iPhone 5S
4. Cory Monteith
5. Harlem Shake
6. Boston Marathon
7. Royal Baby
8. Samsung Galaxy s4
9. Playstation 4
10. North Korea