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Return to the 2012 Zeitgeist lists

Explore some of 2012’s biggest moments
Click on a map pin or timeline dot to begin.
The balls on the map represent the 10 countries where a search term had the highest probability of occurring. Explore how similar queries were searched throughout the world by selecting one of the comparable terms.
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Search probability

    Mars Curiosity Rover

    Redbull Stratosphere

    Space Shuttle

    1.2 trillion searches.

    146 languages.

    What did the world search for in 2012?

    Watch the Year In Review

    Explore the moments

    Take another look at the searches that defined 2012 and compare them to similar searches to see which created more waves.

    Start Exploring

    See search trends from around the world.

    Select a country  

    2012 Search Trends The World

    About Zeitgeist

    2012 was a year of big moments, from global games to historical elections and everything in between. With this site, we've analyzed over one trillion queries to showcase what the world searched for.

    • How We Did This  

      We studied an aggregation of over one trillion searches (or queries) that people typed into Google Search this year. We used data from multiple sources, including Google Trends and internal data tools. We filtered out spam and repeat queries to build lists that best reflect the spirit of 2012.


      The "trending" queries are the searches that had the highest amount of traffic over a sustained period in 2012 as compared to 2011.

      Most Searched

      The "most searched" queries are the most popular terms for 2012—ranked in order of the queries with the largest volume of searches.

      Privacy & Security

      All the searches we studied are anonymous. No personal information was used.

    • About The Site  

      The data here is normalized meaning it represents how many searches this year, relative to the total number of searches over time. This doesn't represent absolute search volume, but searches presented on a scale from 0-100. Each query is divided by the highest point the query reached (100). When we don't have enough data/interest, 0 is shown.

      Note: A term can appear high on the "trending" list and still have lower search volume than the other queries.

    • Discover More  

      Our year-end Zeitgeist is just a small sampling of the queries and search trends that we found interesting this year. Go beyond what we've shared here by using these tools to discover more about global and regional search terms over time.

      Google Trends

      Enter up to five search terms to see relative popularity over time. You can use Trends to compare terms in any language from any country.

      Hot Trends (India, Japan, Singapore and U.S. only)

      The top trending search queries, updated continuously throughout the day.