Google has published its 2009 UK Zeitgeist, revealing the most searched-for words and terms of the year – with swine flu revealed as the “hottest news search” and Facebook the most popular term.
The zeitgeist analyses the internet search engine’s search trends, with lists compiled for a variety of categories including “hottest news searches”, “most popular”, and “fastest rising”.
Along with the news of swine flu, celebrities topped the “hottest news searches” chart, which featured people such as Britain’s Got Talent star Susan Boyle, along with Jade Goody, Robert Pattinson, and Michael Jackson.
The most popular search terms of the year included the BBC, YouTube, and Hotmail – however Facebook topped the overall chart as the most searched term of 2009, while also positioning itself as the “fastest rising” search term.
According to the search giant, the current economic climate has also influenced people’s searches: “Britons had mixed feelings as they headed online this year to search for their favourite online tools, to learn about celebrities new and old, and to find a good bargain. The recession ensured that bargain hunting was alive and well in the UK, with people searching for cheap holiday options in particular.”
Top of its “bargain hunting” searches were cheap flights, hotels and train tickets, while searches for vouchers have increased at a rapid pace over the year.
Facebook was also the “most popular” search term in 2008, while the “fastest rising” search term in that year was for the iPlayer, the BBC’s online catch-up service.
Click here to see the UK’s ‘most searched’ lists in full.