Whitney Houston, Hurricane Sandy top Google searches of 2012

Google Zeitgeist reveals what we wanted to find out
Google Zeitgeist reveals what we wanted to find out

Google released its annual list of the year's most popular searches today, and Whitney Houston, Hurricane Sandy and Election 2012 were among the trending keywords in the U.S.

"We studied an aggregation of over one trillion searches (or queries) that people typed into Google Search this year," said the company on its Google Zeitgeist website.

"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."

Google says that there were 1.2 trillion searches in 2012 in 146 languages.

I will always love 'Hou'

Late singer Whitney Houston, dubbed the "Queen of Pop," became 2012's Queen of the Google Zeitgeist. Her unexpected death early on in the year lead to her becoming the list's No.1 search.

Hurricane Sandy scooped up second place, despite the fact that users didn't start searching for the devastating superstorm until October.

Every four years, Google Zeitgeist is home to searches about the U.S. Presidential election and Summer Olympic Games. This year was no different.

Election 2012 took the bronze at No. 3, while Olympics 2012 placed No. 6.

In between that pair were searches for book-turned-film Hunger Games and basketball sensation Jeremy Lin aka "Linsanity."

Amanda Todd, Gangam Style, Michael Clarke Duncan and KONY 2012 rounded out the top 10 in the U.S.

The iPad 3 was the most popular gadget keyword. People who searched for and eventually bought the tablet were probably sorely disappointed that the iPad 4 came out eight months later.

Not even an all-powerful Google search knew the iPad 4 was coming out ahead of time. In fact, it didn't even rank among the top 10 technology keywords in 2012.

The iPad mini, however, made it to second place. The iPhone 5, one of the top trending smartphone searches, took ninth.

Not all gadget searches were Apple-related. The Samsung Galaxy S3, Kindle Fire, Nexus 7 and Microsoft Surface all followed the iPad 3 and iPad mini on this list.

Notable tech searches in other categories

Other notable tech keywords from different lists in Google's 125-page report include Facebook Stock as the No. 1 trending stock topic and Instagram as the No. 2 mobile app.

Instagram finished behind Temple Run, one of the best free games for iPhone and iPod Touch.

Internet memes, especially those on Twitter and Tumblr, surely helped with a list that Google dubbed "Political Gaffes," with top trending phrases Big Bird, 47 percent, and Binders Full of Women.

"Gangnam Style" ended up being the No. 2 trending song of 2012 behind Justin Bieber's "Boyfriend."

This is despite the fact that "Gangnam Style" recently became the most watched YouTube video of all time. Nobody beats the Biebs.

Matt Swider