Monday, December 22, 2008

The Most Popular Google Searches of 2008

As each year comes to a close we tend to look back at some of the things that marked the twelve months before. One of my favorite areas is to review what was hot on the Internet and there is no better place to find such information than at Google's Zeitgeist. Here is the list for 2008:

1). Sarah Palin. In one of the worse years for Republicans and conservatives in decades, Sarah Palin came on the scene and showed us that there still may be some reasons to hang around the GOP. Palin was courageous and straight talking. Sure, she had some difficulty navigating the incredible platform given to her of national office. But I believe she served he cause well, in the balance, and I will be very surprised if we don't see her again very soon.

2) Beijing 2008. The historically backward and private China allowed itself to be in a fish bowl in a most profound way. It spent the largest amount of money ever on its opening ceremony and provided a show that few will forget. In spite of the good impression, we still heard stories of secrets kept and lies made (for example, the ages of their gymnists). These Olymics largely dominated the headlines the first of 2008.

3) Facebook login. I guess people want to know how to get on one of America's most popular social network websites. Where is that page, anyway? I am working on my own page. After all, if it is good enough for Fox News and CNN, it is good enough for me.
4) Tuenti. This "Spanish Facebook" created quite a stir in 2009 and was one of the most searched terms of they year. This was the year for social networks. There are numerous social networks in the United States and in the world and four of them are on the top ten list. One of them is from Spain. That is saying something.
5) Heath Ledger. The Dark Knight was one of my favorite films in 2008, mainly because of Ledger. When he wasn't on, I couldn't wait for him to get back on. He was simply that good. The extent of Ledger's Joker was unreal, but his character was one of the most real I have ever seen. His life appears to have been a mess, unfortunately. Movie watchers will miss a great actor.

6) Obama. What a surprise! The first African American to be elected President was the number one Google searched item.

7) Nasza Klasa. This Polish social network was another part of the search craze of 2008 as was number 8...
8) Wer Kennt Wen. This is a German based social networking website. Almost half of the web searches in 2008 had to do with the Internet. That's certainly saying something.

9) Euro 2008. Showing how ethnocentric (if not business centric) I am, I thought this had something to do with foreign currency. But outside the US the only "football" that matters is played iwth a round ball and with people wearing shorts. This was one of the hot topics of 2008.

10) Jonas Brothers. This is interesting. I have many children of all ages (10-22) and none of them seem very interested in this Disney Phenom. In spite of the fact they have zero traction in my home, they are a hot item on the web.

So that's the top ten of 2008. Of course, it could change in the last few days. Who knows how many will put in "Google searches" between now and Janury 1.

Kevin Price is a syndicated columnist whose articles frequently appear at ChicagoSunTimes.com, Reuters.com, USAToday.com, and other national media. Kevin Price is Host of the Price of Business (M-F at 11 AM on CNN 650) and Publisher of the Houston Business Review. Hear the show live and online at PriceofBusiness.com. Visit the archive of past shows here.

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