Worldwide Locations

Worldwide Locations

2012: Psy, J-Lin Define Asian 'Zeitgeist' According to Google




As we approach the end of 2012, Google has published its yearly review of trending searches on Google Zeitgeist. Google has aggregated these trends via a number of categories, such as people, images, events, movies, television shows, artists, etc, all based on the metrics of trending and most searched.

Trending denotes "search queries with the highest amount of traffic over a sustained period in 2012 as compared to 2011" — versus most searched, which is "search queries with the largest volume of searches."

These are then further broken down by country. Sadly, only search terms based on trending are shown for the world, although the breakdowns get more detailed in specific countries.

The No. 1 trending search term in 2012 was Whitney Houston, who accidentally drowned in her hotel room on Februrary 11. Following her at No. 2 was "Gangnam Style," by the Korean artist Psy, which took the world by storm when it debuted on YouTube on July 15, receiving 500,000 hits on the first day, and overtaking the other trending summer hit, "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen.

As far as top trending people, Taiwanese-American basketball player Jeremy Lin topped the trending athletes worldwide and trending people at No. 7, following a few weeks of stellar play for the New York Knicks in February. Numerous top trends relating to athletes spiked during the London Olympics, which was itself a top trending topic, and the top athletes headed many of their top trending people lists in their respective countries. Along with those globally recognized names are the many celebrities in pop culture of each of these countries, those who are active and in the public eye, as well as those who died in the last year.

Here's a closer look at the top trending search terms and people in 2012:

China

The top trending term in China for 2012 was The Voice of China, a reality television show in the format of an amateur singing competition. This was followed by the London Olympics, in which China won 38 gold medals with its usual dominance in diving and ping pong, and some surprise breakouts in sports such as swimming. This list is somewhat biased towards foreign search terms, however, because most Chinese people use Chinese search engines such as Baidu and SINA. As for the the most searched people, Jeremy Lin tops the list, as the Chinese seem more than willing to claim him, even though his family have been adamant about his Taiwanese heritage. He is followed by two athletes, gold medalists Lin Dan (badminton) and Sun Yang (swimming). In between these two are Mo Yan, recent Nobel Laureate, and Hawick Lau, an actor in Chinese dramas.

Top trending search terms:

The Voice of China

London Olympics

"Gangnam Style"

Inner Palace: Zhen Huan Biography

Diaoyu Islands
 

Top trending people:

Jeremy Lin

Lin Dan

Mo Yan

Hawick Lau

Sun Yang

 

Hong Kong

Hong Kong's most Googled were also mostly international entertainment-oriented, as demonstrated by searches for the Olympics, as well as Diablo 3, the latest in a series of best-selling computer games by Blizzard Entertainment. This was followed by Euro 2012, the European Football Championship. As for most searched people, Psy and Jeremy Lin take the top two spots, followed by Justin Lee, a Taiwanese socialite charged with drugging and raping dozens of women and recording those encounters. Also making the list is Bo Xilai, the Chinese official based in Chongqing who was ousted as a result of corruption charges and his wife's involvement in the murder of a British businessman.

Top trending search terms:

Olympics 2012

Diablo 3

Euro 2012

"Gangnam Style"

Jeremy Lin
 

Top trending people:

Psy

Jeremy Lin

Justin Lee

Whitney Houston

Bo Xilai

 


India

India used Google in a more professional manner, with top searches for IBPS and GATE exams, two institutions that facilitate recruitment for the banking and engineering industries, respectively. Third on the list is Sunny Leone, Indo-Canadian porn star who was also the most searched person in India. She is followed by two recent Bollywood films, Ek Tha Tiger and Rowdy Rathore. Following Leone on the most searched people list is Rajesh Khanna, Bollywood star of over 150 films, who passed away from cancer in July. He is followed by model Poonam Pandey, actress Alia Bhatt, and Nirmal Baba, self-proclaimed "godman" and alleged scam artist.

Top trending search terms:

IBPS

GATE Exams

Sunny Leone

Ek Tha Tiger

Rowdy Rathore
 

Top trending people:

Sunny Leone

Rajesh Khanna

Poonam Pandey

Alia Bhatt

Nirmal Baba

 

Indonesia

Indonesia's searches mostly focused on its domestic personalities and issues, though they too could not escape the reach of "Gangnam Style," which was first among top trending topics. That was followed by Noah, an Indonesian boy band. In March, Indonesia suffered an infestation of tomcat beetles. Number four on the most searched is another boy group, Coboy Junior. Last on the list is the current governor of Jakarta, Joko Widodo, also known as Jokowi, who also heads the list of searched people. He is followed by singer Ayu Ting Ting, artist Budi Doremi, comedian Ade Namnung, and stuntman Eza Gionino.

Top trending search terms:

"Gangnam Style"

Noah

Tomcat

Coboy Junior

Jokowi

 

Top trending people:

Jokowi

Ayu Ting Ting

Budi Doremi

Ade Namnung

Eza Gionino

 

Japan

Japan's list of top trending searches begins, strangely, with the solar eclipse in May. It was the first time the eclipse was visible in the capital city of Tokyo, and thus was heavily anticipated. Also making the list were two natural disasters, typhoon and earthquake. (Two typhoons, Sanba and Jelawat, struck Japan in late September and early October, causing millions in damages, a death toll of 69, and hundreds of injuries.) Also trending is Dragon Quest X, the latest of a long running series of role-playing games. This current iteration is also a massively multiplayer online RPG, allowing thousands of people to play together, on the Nintendo Wii. Meanwhile, a variety of entertainment figures head the list of top trending people.

Top trending search terms:

Solar eclipse

Olympics 2012

Typhoon

Dragon Quest X

Earthquake

 

Malaysia

The top trending search in Malaysia is the SAPS, a database of exams for students. Also trending was 9GAG, a site of memes and funny pictures. The Proton Preve, a newly-released car designed and produced in Malaysia, is also on the list, followed by Zalora, an online department store. Top trending people from Malaysia include Shila Amzah, a popular singer, Izwan Pilus, another popular singer who passed away, and Uncle Seekers, a controversial blogger whose site was shut down for purportedly defaming the Johor royal family.

Top trending search terms:

SAPS

"Gangnam Style"

9GAG

Proton Preve

Zalora

 

Top trending people:

Whitney Houston

Jeremy Lin

Shila Amzah

Izwan Pilus

Uncle Seekers

 

Philippines

Many of the top trending terms in the Philippines are recreational, such as Simsimi, a conversational robot on iOS and android, which is followed by the popular mobile game Angry Birds. Third is Tetris Battle, an online multiplayer version of Tetris. Perhaps most strange on this list is the inclusion of "Super Bass" lyrics, a search for the lyrics to a Nicki Minaj song that was parodied in the Philippines. The list of top trending people was headed by Jeremy Lin and Whitney Houston, at No. 1 and No. 2 respectively. The first Filipino on the list is Dolphy, a comic actor who passed away on July 10. He is followed by Janelle Manahan, who was present at the murder her of her boyfriend, actor Ram Revilla, in October 2011. Manahan was a top trending person based on her confession to being a victim of domestic violence, as well as her recent testimony at the trial of Revilla's alleged killer.

Top trending search terms:

SimSimi

Angry Birds

Tetris Battle

"Super Bass" lyrics

"Gangnam Style"

 

Top trending people:

Jeremy Lin

Whitney Houston

Dolphy

Janelle Manahan

Daniel Padilla

 

Singapore

Despite being a small city-state nation of 5 million, Singapore was able to claim two bronze medals this summer, thus pushing Olympics 2012 to the top of the trending search terms list. Also of note is SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act that originated from the United States, which many tech companies criticized as being too broad and restrictive. Legoland Malaysia, notable for being the first international Legoland, opened in September, and came in fourth on the list. Somewhat curious is that Legoland Malaysia did not finish in the top 10 of trending search terms in Malaysia. Rounding out the top five is "Zerg Rush," a meme that originated from the popular computer game Starcraft. It also became a Google easter egg on August 27. The top trending people include international figures such as Jeremy Lin, Whitney Houston, and Kate Middleton. The first Singaporean is Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's first Prime Minister, who retired in 2011 but continues to speak out on national issues. Last in the top five is Amy Cheong, who ranted about Malaysian weddings after being disturbed by one while attempting to sleep. Many netizens accused her of being racist, and she fled the country, fearing a backlash.

Top trending search terms:

Olympics 2012

"Gangnam Style"

SOPA

Legoland Malaysia

Zerg Rush

 

Top trending people:

Jeremy Lin

Lee Kuan Yew

Whitney Houston

Kate Middleton

Amy Cheong

 

South Korea

South Korea's list of top trending search terms and people were both dominated by its pop culture. Topping the list is perhaps 2012's most famous, not to mention most inescapable, international piece of pop culture, "Gangnam Style," the catchy song with a memorable video (embedded above). The next three top trending terms are all based on Korean dramas, although Fashion King is notable for being a web animated series. Ahn Cheol-soo, businessman and politician, is the only non-entertainer on the list, at No. 4. The list is topped by singer IU, followed by T-ara, a pop group, and actor Kim Soo Hyun. Or less, a contestant on a K-Pop reality audition show, finished fifth.

Top trending search terms:

"Gangnam Style"

The Sun and the Moon

Fashion King

Dream High 2

Diablo 3

 

Top trending people:

IU

T-ara

Kim Soo Hyun

Ahn Cheol-soo

Or less

 

Taiwan

Justin Lee, socialite and alleged rapist, was No. 1 in both trending search terms and people. He is followed by Taiwanese-American sensation Jeremy Lin, who became a media darling following his breakout play for the New York Knicks in February. Maggie Wu, a victim in the Justin Lee scandal, finished third. No. 4 on the trending search terms was the Taiwan Superlotto, due to the jackpot rising to NT$1.8 billion in early December. On the list of trending people, singer-actress Kawashima Makiyo was No. 4, after assaulting a cab driver in February. She was sentenced to 10 months of jail time, with three years of probation. Rounding out the top five trending people is Taipei Assassins, a team based in Taipei that plays a popular computer game, League of Legends.

Top trending search terms:

Justin Lee

Jeremy Lin

Maggie Wu

Taiwan SuperLotto

Black Tea Bro

 

Top trending people:

Justin Lee

Jeremy Lin

Maggie Wu

Kawashima Makiyo

Taipei Assassins

 

Vietnam

The Vietnamese version of The Voice was the top searched term of 2012 in Vietnam. No. 3 on the list is Xem Phim Online, an online site that links to streams of movies and television shows. CongDongGame follows at No. 4, an online portal to popular computer games. Last on the list is Truyen Cui, a user-generated site of stories and jokes. The Vietnamese Zeitgeist did not have a list of top trending searched people.

Top trending search terms:

The Voice/Giong Hat Viet

"Gangnam Style"

Xem Phim Online

CongDongGame

Truyen Cuoi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the full list of Google trends in Asia, and everywhere else in the world, visit Zeitgeist 2012.

comments powered by Disqus