By: Ryan Miller
Search engines, data aggregators and social websites are in the midst of releasing the most popular searches and most popular content for 2011. So what did 2011 look like on the worldwide web? Let’s take a look!
First up is Google, who have updated their Google Zeitgeist website for 2011.
Google Zeitgeist has an unbelievable amount of data sliced-and-diced any way you want it, but their 10 fastest-rising global queries are as follows:
- Rebecca Black
- Ryan Dunn
- Casey Anthony
- Battlefield 3
- iPhone 5
- 東京 電力
- Steve Jobs
- iPad 2
What struck me as fascinating was the number 8 search, being the Japanese kanji for the utility company Tepco in Fukushima that was damaged during the earthquake in May. Google notes that the search interest “rose so quickly and at such high volume that the keyword landed a spot on our fastest rising list, despite Japanese-language representing only 4.7% of total Internet users.”
Yahoo has also released their comprehensive Top 10 lists as well, all of which can be found on Yahoo’s Year in Review.
Yahoo’s top search terms for 2011 in the United States were as follows:
- Casey Anthony
- Kim Kardashian
- Katy Perry
- Jennifer Lopez
- Lindsay Lohan
- “American Idol”
- Jennifer Aniston
- Japan Earthquake
- Osama bin Laden
Diving in deeper in Yahoo’s data, the top news stories search for in the United States were:
- Casey Anthony Trial
- Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
- Royal Wedding
- Death of Osama bin Laden
- Arizona Shooting
- Death of Amy Winehouse
- Arab Spring
- Libya/Death of Moammar Gadhafi
- Occupy Wall Street
In addition to data provided directly from search engines, we wanted to show you what Experian Hitwise has compiled. Hitwise is a “search intelligence” marketing company and has as usual provided a year-end wrap up of data to sift through. You can get some very granular data covering 2011 search data through their blog post here but here are two high-level data points worth checking out:
Facebook continues to dominate online usage, taking the number 1 spot for most visited website for the second year in a row and commands four varations in top search queries.
Also of note is the disappearance of MySpace both as a Top 10 search query and a top 10 visited website.
Lastly, Facebook has revealed the most shared articles for 2011. These are all news-based content so it would appear that content like YouTube videos or images are not part of this list.
1. Satellite Photos of Japan, Before and After the Quake and Tsunami (New York Times)
3. No, your zodiac sign hasn’t changed (CNN)
5. (video) – Father Daughter Dance Medley (Yahoo)
10. New Zodiac Sign Dates: Ophiuchus The 13th Sign? (The Huffington Post)
You can see Facebook’s full list of more shared articles here.
What will be in store for us in 2012? Somewhere in the 4th dimension lies in wait the next Rebecca Black, the next scandalous trial and the next world-shaking death. For current events and news oriented websites, knowing what has come before will help for the future in terms of keyword research, title optimization and social sharing. Prepare yourself!
Ryan Miller is the SEO Manager for Advance Digital, and provides best practice techniques for improving your search visibility. You can follow him on Twitter @cromiller and add him to your circles on Google+.