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December 14, 2012

2012: A Year in Google Searches

2012 was a year of curiosities.

From Felix Baumgartner’s supersonic freefall to Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas — people wanted to know more.

To see what piqued the world’s interest in 2012, as reflected through searches on Google, the search giant released its annual Zeitgeist video.

Protests in Syria and Greece, the Mars Rover landing and the elections in the United States, Egypt and France are just a few of the major events and conflicts featured.

Internet sensations like reality TV personality Honey Boo Boo and South Korean pop phenomenon Psy also made appearances.

According to the search giant, 1.2 trillion searches in 146 languages were conducted.

Google also released data, including the top trending topics, TV shows and images.


Warm up questions

1. What is a search engine?

2. Name three popular search engines.

3. What does it mean when something is “trending?”

Discussion questions

1. Name three events that dominated the 2012 news cycle?

2. In your opinion, why were these events widely searched?

3. As a new year approaches, do you think it’s important for a society to reflect on the year past? Discuss.

4. One of the phrases used in the video is “never stop searching.” What does that mean to you? Do you think Google was simply referring to its search engine or is there a deeper meaning?

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