Google Zeitgeist 2012: Whitney Houston, Gangnam Style, and Hurricane Sandy top search terms

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Google just released its 2012 Zeitgeist, its annual collection of trending search topics across the globe. Topping overall search trends for the year were: Whitney Houston, the pop diva who died earlier this year;  Gangnam Style, the hilarious dance (and YouTube’s most-watched video) by Korean singer Psy; and Hurricane Sandy, which ravaged New York and New Jersey in October.

Google says it powered 1.2 trillion searches across 146 languages during 2012. An Android Google Zeitgeist app is coming later today, while an iOS app is coming soon.

Apple’s iPad 3 topped the consumer technology category, followed by Samsung’s Galaxy S3 and the iPad Mini. Samsung’s Galaxy Note and Google’s Nexus 7 rounded out the top consumer tech — clearly this year we were all hot for tablets.

Topping other categories were the British boy band One Direction, the film version of The Hunger Games, and basketball sensation Jeremy Lin of the Houston Rockets (and earlier, the New York Knicks).

As always, Google’s video wrap-up of the year’s searches is all about bold imagery from throughout the year, especially skydiver Felix Baumgartner’s space jump.

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