Seeing that 2011 is almost coming to an end, Google has put up its Zeitgeist website for the year. With the search engine being the de facto source for information, its compilation of most searched items is a barometer of what people, events or incidents caused the most waves in 2011.
Not to be left behind, Yahoo has also released a similar list of the top ten most searched items for their website as well.
|Ryan Dunn||Kim Kardashian|
|Casey Anthony||Katy Perry|
|Battlefield 3||Jennifer Lopez|
|iPhone 5||Lindsay Lohan|
|Steve Jobs||Japan Earthquake|
|iPad 2||Osama bin Laden|
Besides the fact that Rebecca Black ended up as Google's top search, we see Apple products on both Google and Yahoo's lists. The iPhone 5 ranks in at number 6 on the Google top ten and it was not even released in 2011, showing how much of the public's mind was captured by Apple's smartphone. Steve Jobs and the iPad 2 also make it onto Google's list. Another common search query to feature was the Fukishama reactor crisis after the earthquake in Japan.
We also see a very heavy leaning towards American content on both lists. Casey Anthony's trial gains her the number 4 spot on Google and number 2 on Yahoo. The passing away of Ryan Dunn, an integral part of "Jackass" movies and TV show, in a car crash places him at number 3. The efforts of Google at pushing its social networking service sees Google+ rank in at number 2 on the company's top ten list.
These lists also shed some light on how both search engines are used. While Google's list is varied and contains an eclectic mix of musicians, memes and incidents, Yahoo's list is heavily tilted towards entertainment. From the looks of it people go to Google for facts while they go to Yahoo for gossip.