Google Zeitgeist Shows We're As Clueless As Ever

Every year at this time, Google releases its annual Zeitgeist figures for Australia: a summary of the most popular search terms over the past 12 months. And every year, we have to marvel at how the most popular search terms are sites which you can access in two seconds by typing that word into the address bar and adding ".com" to the end.

2010 is no exception. Here's the ten most common search terms Australians have searched for on Google:

  1. Facebook
  2. YouTube
  3. Google
  4. eBay
  5. Hotmail
  6. Yahoo
  7. Real Estate
  8. Maps
  9. Commonwealth
  10. White Pages

Honestly, I could weep. And I bet that the people doing those searches aren't using the search box in their browser either.

The list of fastest-rising search terms, which is a better indicator of growing popularity, is rather more unusual:

  1. Chatroulette
  2. Formspring
  3. ABC3
  4. World Cup 2010
  5. Tumblr
  7. Event Cinemas
  8. Omegle
  9. Wikileaks
  10. Jetstar

Share your theories on why everyone is looking for ABC3 in the comments.

Taking the pulse: Australia’s top Google searches 2010 [Google Australia Blog]


    I frequently use google to find websites that most likely can be access by just amending .com to the name. I dot this for 2 reasons, 1 I don't actually know if the .com address is correct (is it or and second I don't like it how web browsers put addresses you've type in the address bar in the drop down list.

      I'm the same, but come on...
      Searching for Google using Google??
      That's gotta be an infinite loop doesn't it?

      Search for Google - Find Google - Search for Google - Find Google - Search for Google - etc.etc.etc

        The IT Crowd got that one right...

    ABC3? Very simple... Heartbreak High re-runs.

    The third most common search term on Google is Google. That pretty much sums it up for me.

    Chromes address bar is the search box. I wonder if that factors at all into the search rankings.

    I use google to fast track through webpages. Normally it will give you a number of sub-links on a common web page so that way you can click where you want to go as a way of saving time on the actual web page.

    ABC3 easy, kids. My kid did a search for ABC3 last night trying to find more information about some show he caught the end of.

    using Chrome, i get to youtube in 3 steps

    Ctrl+T for new tab
    type 'youtube'
    hit [enter] twice

    and because you can perform a google search from the address bar in Chorome, google will count my contribution as a search

    does that make you feel like we are a little less stupid, Angus?

      Not exactly. Mostly because Chrome still isn't used by most Australians, so I doubt that's what influences the figures much (I have no doubt Lifehacker readers are much more efficient with this stuff than other people). And also slightly because it would be more efficient to set up a keyword bookmark, then you could go Ctrl-T yt enter and be there with even less effort.

        Or, you can just control + enter for .com, shift+enter for .net or control+shift+enter for .org

        Works on all browsers

    Of course, all those search terms are people looking for the sites. None of them would be people interested in aspects of, say, fraud control on ebay rather than the site itself.
    Search typically begins wide, and then narrows as the search criteria are refined.
    I'm afraid your analysis of the data is inaccurate and incomplete at best, and lazy at worst.

      I absolutely don't believe that someone searching for fraud control on eBay would start simply by searching for eBay and then refine afterwards. If you've got a topic like that in mind, why wouldn't you search for "fraud control ebay" and then refine your search as needed afterwards?

    I guess it proves we really do live in an idiocracy.

    I think it is as basic as people want to use Google web page (start page) to do a search from.

    To make Internet Explorer load faster, about:blank is the best default.

    If they want Google page to search from, then click a "bar" and type Google or

    I've seen this type of thing many times.

    Countless times I've seen my boss type "Google" in the Google search bar in the top right corner of her IE window. She waits for Google to load and THEN types in her search.

    Twice I've told her she can run her search from the first field, and both times she said: "yes, I know, I just find this easier"...


    It's not just Australians.

    1. facebook
    2. youtube
    3. bbc
    4. hotmail
    5. ebay
    6. facebook login
    7. google
    8. mail
    9. news
    10. you

    1. facebook
    2. how to
    3. lyrics
    4. you
    5. youtube
    6. yahoo
    7. google
    8. games
    9. craigslist
    10. weather

    Perhaps you should be weeping for the world, or just accept that people can't be bothered to think and will type everything into google ;)


    There are a lot of people out there who don't know how to use the address bar. They think google is the ONLY way to get to a site. When I ask people why they don't put '' in the address bar, the response is always 'I didn't know you could do that'

    Google is the gateway to the internet for a lot of people

      Absolutely. Get that all the time with computer illiterate friends and family.

    Searching for Facebook eBay etc etc seems perfectly valid - why bother trying to remember a string

    Such as Question what is ABC our TV is it

    What amazes me is that a lot of people are still typing "" into their browser address bar, getting to Google Search, then searching for "Facebook" to get to - I have seen very few people actually using the in-browser search bar on FF and the new IE's...

    The reason that Google is so prominent as a search is that the terrorists are trying to destroy the internet by typing google into google!

    I annoyingly end up at Google all the time cause i start typing where i want to go in chrome but hit return before it recognises it as a site i frequent and updates the address bar.
    So its not that i want to search for google, its just my browser didnt do what i predicted it to do, in the time i expected

    This post couldn't be more right on!!!

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