INTERNET giant Google has revealed the searching habits of New Zealanders in 2012.
It published its annual Zeitgeist list, which shows what terms had the biggest increase in search volume over the course of the year.
On google.co.nz, the top search term was “Olympics”, followed by “Volvo Ocean Race” and “One Direction”.
Others in the top 10 included “Hurricane Sandy”, “Pinterest”, and “Gangnam Style”.
Google spokeswoman Annie Baxter told Fairfax NZ that the Zeitgeist list, named after the German word for spirit of the times, was “a really good indicator of what is on people’s consciousness”.
“It was a year in which big international events caught our attention, but we also turned to the web to better understand local issues, from the Tongariro eruption to the Marmite shortage to the changing Give Way rules.”
New Zealand and Australia shared a number of popular searches, including the Olympics, British and Irish boy band One Direction, and Korean popstar Psy.
Kim Dotcom was the top news event, while Belarus, the country disgraced shotputter Nadzeya Ostapchuk competed for at the Olympics, was fourth.
The deaths of author Margaret Mahy and rugby legend Jock Hobbs were also in the top ten news searches.
Mahy also appeared on the list of most-searched Kiwis, after Olympic champion Valerie Adams, pop singer Kimbra and Olympic BMX rider Sarah Walker.
Adams was the only Kiwi to make the list of top trending people.
Whitney Houston, who died in February, topped that list.
TOP TRENDING SEARCHES
NEWS EVENTS – 1. Kim Dotcom, 2. Tongariro, 3. Transit of Venus, 4. Belarus, 5. Marmite, 6. Margaret Mahy, 7. Jock Hobbs, 8. White Island, 9. Give-way rules, 10. Sophie Pascoe.
WHAT IS – 1. Sopa (Stop Online Piracy Act), 2. Kony (campaign to stop Ugandan militia leader Joseph Kony), 3. Yolo (acronym for “you only live once”), 4. Scientology 5. Fracking (natural gas drilling), 6. Instagram (a photo-sharing social media site), 7. Lent (the pre-Easter fasting period), 8. Swag/swagger (slang term for a person with a confident and arrogant gait or manner), 9. Spotify (a free music streaming service), 10. Quorn (brand of imitation meat in the United Kingdom).
EVENTS – 1. Olympics, 2. Volvo Ocean Race, 3. One Direction , 4. Kizi (an all-ages online gaming website), 5. Whitney Houston (singer, died in February), 6. Gangnam Style (Psy’s pop video), 7. Pinterest (a virtual pinboard to collect and display items found on the internet), 8. Diablo 3 (a video game), 9. Hurricane Sandy, 10. 9GAG (image-based social media website).
HOW TO – 1. Screenshot, 2. Love, 3. Study, 4. Geocache (a GPS treasure hunt game), 5. Shuffle (as in pop band LMFAO’s video), 6. Download, 7. Plait, 8. Poke (a Facebook function used to get the attention of another Facebook friend), 9. Wallpaper (your home), 10. Blog.
NEW ZEALANDERS – 1. Valerie Adams,2. Kimbra (singer), 3. Sarah Walker (Olympic BMX rider), 4. Margaret Mahy (author, died in July), 5. Mahe Drysdale (Olympic rowing champion), 6. Nick Willis (Olympic runner), 7. Lisa Carrington (Olympic canoeing champion), 8. Mark Todd (Olympic equestrian), 9. Jock Hobbs (ex-All Black, died in March), 10. Martin Henderson (Kiwi actor, fleetingly dated Demi Moore).
PEOPLE – 1. Whitney Houston (singer, died in February), 2. Reece Mastin (Australian teen idol), 3. Morgan Freeman (actor), 4. Usain Bolt (Olympic sprint champion), 5. Michael Clarke Duncan (actor, died in September), 6. Valerie Adams (Olympic shotput champion), 7. Jeremy Lin (basketball star), 8. Tom Daly (Olympic diver), 9. Joseph Kony (Ugandan cult leader), 10. Lance Armstrong (disgraced cyclist).