Google Zeitgeist – After Michael Jackson, social media dominates the search world.

Near the end of each year, Google looks at the spirit of the times (zeitgeist for those of you who don’t speak German) and tells us what’s been happening in the world of search.

Search Trends of 2009

  1. The most searched for term: Michael Jackson – there was a big spike in search for his songs and his name around the time of his death.
  2. Fastest rising global search terms after MJ?
    1. Facebook
    2. Tuenti (popular Spanish social media site)
    3. Twitter.
  3. The three fastest falling search terms?
    1. Beijing 2008
    2. euro 2008
    3. heath ledger
  4. Vancouver 2010 does not show up on the fastest rising search terms for sports. No, l’equipe football is number ten with Olympics no where in sight.
  5. In food, acai berry is number one and peanut butter recall number 6.
  6. The top three recipes searched for? Chili, meatloaf, cheesecake. Does that say anything about a recession?
  7. Top five how to’s globally? How to kiss, draw, knit crochet and flirt. Does this mean people are staying home more and want someone to stay home with?
  8. For Canadians, how to kiss, draw, flirt and meditate come ahead of crochet. Maybe Canadians already know how to crochet.
  9. Are Canadians obsessed with their health. Of the top six News category searchs, three are related to the flu: swine flu, H1N1 and simply flu.

Probably the greatest predictor of search fame is that you’re already famous. And, you can see that plumbing services does not top the year’s search terms. That’s good. How is it good? Well, the term is a lot less competitive and you have a greater chance of being found. Also, with Google increasingly putting weight on local search, your plumbing business is even more likely to be found by the people you want to find you.

For 2010, having a fast loading, easy to navigate site will be extremely important. If you’ve been thinking about revamping your website, now might be the time. A student of mine was surprised to learn that there are fashions in web design. There are and if your site is loaded with Flash entries and busy pages, it’s out of fashion. People have become much less patient and if you don’t give them what they want now, they’ll leave and never come back. You can learn more about thoughts on landing page design from my series of posts on landing pages.

If you’d like to read the whole report from Google. you can find it here. Be prepared to browse for while. It is a window into what we’re thinking and it’s fascinating.

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