Chatroulette, Justin Bieber and iPad top Google's hottest searches of 2010
Life-threatening diseases and failed banks apparently weren’t as fascinating as mop-topped teen heartthrobs and cutting-edge electronic devices this year.
At least that’s the way it appeared in Google’s "Zeitgeist 2010: How the world searched."
The annual report from the world’s largest search engine shows "the aggregation of billions of search queries people typed in," revealing the year's fastest-rising and fastest-falling search terms of the year.
According to the list, the hottest search was "Chatroulette," the website that randomly pairs strangers from around the world for live webcam chats. It became popular in the beginning of the year, then lost steam when it was notoriously streaked with nudity -- flashers would appear naked on people’s screens. The website went offline for a brief time in August. It came back in September.
The list then got to more predictable with popular searches such as "iPad," the new tablet computer, and pop star "Justin Bieber."
The fastest-falling search term was "swine flu," which gripped the world’s attention after reports swirled on news outlets about people affected in the U.S. and Mexico. Searchers also quickly lost interest in "WaMu," the abbreviation for failed bank Washington Mutual. Further down the list was Circuit City, the now-defunct U.S. consumer electronics retailer.
By and large, the searches fell in line with what other search engines have reported.
Check out the video above. This is the first time Google has created a "zeitgeist year in review video to capture the phenomena that shaped 2010," the company said.
-- W.J. Hennigan