The close of 2012 means it's time for another array of year-end lists that highlight the most memorable people and events of the past 12 months. And who better to do so than the world's biggest search engine? Google's "Zeitgeist" project, now going on 12 years, narrows down our year on Earth by popular search terms.
We studied an aggregation of over one trillion searches (or queries) that people typed into Google Search this year. We used data from multiple sources, including Google Trends and internal data tools. We filtered out spam and repeat queries to build lists that best reflect the spirit of 2012.
Here's a few of their lists:
The world's top searches for 2012:
1. Whitney Houston 2. Gangnam Style 3. Hurricane Sandy 4. iPad 3 5. Diablo 3 6. Kate Middleton 7. Olympics 2012 8. Amanda Todd 9. Michael Clarke Duncan 10. BBB12
Top image searches:
1. One Direction 2. Selena Gomez 3. iPhone 5 4. Megan Fox 5. Rihanna 6. Justin Bieber 7. Harry Styles 8. Minecraft 9. Nicki Minaj 10. Katy Perry
Top how-to searches
1. How to love 2. How to rock 3. How to vote 4. How to install 5. How to hate 6. How to archer 7. How to wobble 8. How to calculate 9. How to root 10. How to tebow
Google's complementary "Zeitgeist 2012" video sums up the year with their most searched subject. Try not to cry as the video zips through "Gangnam Style," the Higgs Boson discovery, Felix Baumgartner, Honey Boo Boo, Overly Attached Girlfriend, Whitney Houston, protests in Syria, Michael Phelps and the Mars Rover landing -- just a few of the events that made 2012 special.
If you want to get really vintage with it, here's 2011's "Zeitgeist," also produced by Whirled Creative.