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A year in the UK: Google's Top Searches of 2012

12th December 2012 Print

Google has announced its annual Zeitgeist, revealing this year's most searched celebrities, Olympians, major events and hottest trends based on internet searches conducted in the UK in 2012. 

Top trends

While most would have expected the Olympics to have eclipsed everything as 2012's most searched term, it was overtaken by Euro 2012. However, London was the most searched city in Google Maps, Stella McCartney was the top trending designer, and Muse's 'Survival' made the top trending songs - showing the Olympics had a huge impact on the nation's cultural interests.

People News

Andy Murray took the World by storm leading the charge as the most searched Olympian of 2012 after taking gold and winning the US open, the first British Grand Slam victory since 1936. Murray overtook British Olympic Champions such as Tom Daley, and Jessica Ennis who followed closely behind as number two and three top searched Olympians this year. Meanwhile on the political front, the news agenda put Jeremy Hunt in the spotlight - he became the top trending politician of 2012, followed by Boris Johnson.


Not only did Victoria Pendleton's Olympic career get her some attention but she also achieved stardom in her role in Strictly Come Dancing and reached top position in the most searched reality TV celebrities. While Skyfall topped the Movie list, children's hit Mike the Knight beat Homeland and Bake Off to the trending top spot.


Smash hit Gangnam Style, which made the world move to its funky beat,  was the top trending song  this year while the world should watch out for this year's trending popstar, Lucy Spraggan. In Fashion British Olympic kit designer Stella McCartney was the top trending label of the year.

Travel news

London came top as the most searched city in Google Maps this year, as tourists continued to flood to the country's capital. Yet as Olympics fans looked to the next Games, Rio de Janeiro became the fastest rising destination of 2012, followed by Greece.

...and more romantic pursuits!

Romantic searches topped the "what is" and "how to" query lists, with British searchers keen to learn "what is love" and "how to kiss"  and "how to flirt" to help them be luckier in love. This was closely followed by more serious "what is" queries ranging from the icloud to the illuminati, diabetes and  "how to meditate". It was also a year of creativity as millions searched online for inspiration around  "how to draw", "how to crochet", "how to knit" and "how to sing".

Trending Searches 2012

1. Euro 2012 
2. Olympic tickets     
3. Whitney Houston  
4. Kate Middleton      
5. April Jones
6. Netflix        
7. Natwest online      
8. ipad 3        
9. Gary Barlow          
10. Gangnam Style

Trending People     
1. Whitney Houston  
2. Kate Middleton      
3. Gary Barlow          
4. Tulisa         
5. Jessica Ennis
6. Fabrice Muamba  
7. Michael Clarke Duncan
8. Morgan Freeman  
9. Prince Harry
10. Usain Bolt

British Olympians Most searched
1. Andy Murray
2. Tom Daley
3. Jessica Ennis
4. Mo Farah
5. Victoria Pendleton
6. Bradley Wiggins
7. Chris Hoy
8. Rebecca Adlington
9. Laura Trott
10. Louis smith

Global Olympians Most Searched
1. Usain Bolt
2. Michael Phelps
3. Roger Federer
4. Yohan Blake
5. Ryan Lochte
6. Venus Williams
7. Rafael Nadal
8. Novak Djokovic
9. Tyson Gay
10. Missy Franklin

Trending TV Shows
1. Mike the Knight
2. Homeland
4. The Jonathan Ross Show
5. Celebrity Big Brother
6. Sherlock
7. The Great British Bake Off
8. Game of Thrones
9. Big Bang Theory
10. How I Met Your Mother

Trending Movies
1. Skyfall
2. Prometheus
3. The Hunger Games
4. Magic Mike
5. Taken 2
6. The Avengers
7. The Woman in Black
8. The Dictator
9. Sinister
10. The Devil Inside

Trending Fashion Labels
1. Stella McCartney
2. Karl Lagerfeld
3. Victoria's Secret
4. Alice Temperley
5. Versace
6. Mulberry
7. Marks and Spencer
8. Ossie Clark
9. Burberry
10. LK Bennett

Trending Music Artists
1. Lucy Spraggan
2. The Military Wives
4. Emeli Sande
5. Psy
6. One Direction
7. The Spice Girls
8. Muse
9. Girls Aloud
10. Dizzee Rascal

Trending Politicians
1. Jeremy Hunt
2. Boris Johnson
3. Justine Greening
4. Alex Salmond
5. Michael Gove
6. George Osborne
7. Louise Mensch
8. Nadine Dorries
9. Keith Vaz
10. Ed Vaizey

Trending Songs
1. Gangnam Style
2. Call Me Maybe
3. Blow Me One Last Kiss
4. Beneath Your Beautiful
5. The Official Olympic Song (Survival by Muse)
6. Skyfall
7. Somebody That I Used To Know
8. We Are Young
9. Too Close
10. 212

Trending Sports
1. Synchronized Swimming
2. Murderball
3. Wheelchair Basketball
4. Volleyball
5. Archery
6. 100 metre sprint
7. Taekwondo
8. Gymnastics
9. Cycling
10. Athletics

Trending Travel Destinations
1. Rio de Janeiro
2. Greece
3. Brazil
4. Dubai
5. Paris
6. London
7. Bruges
8. Cornwall
9. Edinburgh
10. Barcelona

Most searched Cities in Google Maps  (UK)
1. London        
2. Bristol             
3. Manchester 
4. Edinburgh            
5. Brighton       
6. Surrey
7. Leeds          
8. Oxford
9. Cambridge
10. Birmingham

Most searched Local Places in Google Maps (UK)
1. hotel
2. restaurant            
3. pubs
4. camping       
5. tesco
6. parking         
7. trainstation           
8. premier inn          
9. supermarket 
10. B&B

How to (top searches for 'How to' in 2012)
1. draw
2. kiss
3. make
4. crochet
5. knit
6. meditate
7. flirt
8. sing
9. hack
10. pronounce

What is (top searches for 'What is' in 2012)
1. love
2. icloud
3. 3g
4. scientology
5. instagram
6. autism
7. diabetes
8. yolo
9. illuminati
10. ms