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March 30, 2009

Google Zeitgeist

Filed under: Main — admin @ 12:01 am

Zeitgeist is a term meaning the spirit of the times. A zeitgeist defines a mood or a theme. For Google, the zeitgeist tells you what’s hot as far as search terms are concerned. It’s a telling insight into the culture’s current state of mind.

Google does it’s ZeitGeist annually. You can read the summary for 2008 here. According to that page, here are the top Google search terms for 2008:

  1. sarah palin
  2. beijing 2008
  3. facebook login
  4. tuenti
  5. heath ledger
  6. obama
  7. nasza klasa
  8. wer kennt wen
  9. euro 2008
  10. jonas brothers

Curious that Ms. Palin beat out Mr. Obama. No wonder the Democrats were so frightened of her!

Google only does its Zeitgeist annually, but for the United States, you can track the top 100 search terms in Google Trends. It’s a telling list.

For example, for March 29 (yesterday), the top search term was carthage nc, which is Carthage, North Carolina where there was a shooting at a nursing home. But other top hits are more interesting:

7. patti davis playboy

Is that President Reagan’s daughter? Weird. Of course number 76 was expected: paris hilton sextape paris.

I didn’t find any Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan links, which I found unusual. (They should contact their agents!) Of course, there are many links to names I don’t recognize, probably various people-of-the-moment. Even when I was younger, I considered myself out of touch with who was who, specifically with regards to television and music.

I wonder what made this one popular this week:

63. vasectomies

I used to watch the Dark Shadows horror-soap opera when I was a kid, but I’m curious as to why it’s popular now:

15. dark shadows
78. dark shadows tv show

I remember seeing this film a long time ago:

71. picnic at hanging rock

This film made the list for some reason:

92. 50 first dates

I suppose none of this really has to make sense. After all, it’s merely the zeitgeist, which by definition is temporary.

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