Google's Zeitgeist, Yahoo's Top Queries, 2008

Zeitgeist is a German term that means "the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era," or as Google likes to say, "the spirit of the times." On Wednesday Google released their 2008 version of their annual Year-End Zeitgeist List which purports to highlight "the big events, memorable moments and emerging trends that captivated us in 2008."

The top rising search terms in 2008 (global) are:
  1. sarah palin
  2. beijing 2008
  3. facebook login
  4. tuenti (an invite only social network based in Madrid)
  5. heath ledger
  6. obama
  7. nasza klasa (Polish social network)
  8. wer kennt wen (German social network)
  9. euro 2008
  10. jonas brothers
Yes, you read that right, Sarah Palin, despite only being introduced as John McCain's running mate in late August, topped the global list. You can bet the queries didn't start until then.

In the U.S., Obama topped the list, but Palin was still #7. Among top campaign buzzwords, "Joe the Plumber" topped the list, even more amazing than Palin as he popped up in the waning days of the campaign. "Yes we can" came in at #7.

Not to leave out Yahoo!, it seems its users were somewhat more celebrity focused. The top searches for 2008 were:
  1. Britney Spears
  2. WWE
  3. Barack Obama
  4. Miley Cyrus
  5. Runescape (MMORPG)
  6. Jessica Alba
  7. Naruto (Anime and manga series)
  8. Lindsay Lohan
  9. Angelina Jolie
  10. American Idol

Plenty more to read and analyze at both Google and Yahoo's sites; take a look.