Google’s annual Zeitgeist ranking gives an insight into what made German internet users tick in 2012, with sport and celebrities topping the chart of the nation’s most googled keywords.
The Euro 2012 football tournament, the Olympic Games in London and German comedian and TV presenter Dirk Bach – who was found dead in a Berlin flat in October – were the top three fastest growing searches on Google’s German site in 2012.
Close behind were Felix Baumgartner’s parachute jump from the edge of space and the Samsung smart phone Galaxy S3, which overtook Apple’s iPad 3 and the iPad mini to make it into the top five fastest growing searches.
This year’s results were much lighter than last year’s most popular keywords in Germany, which included the EHEC bacteria and the Japanese nuclear disaster in Fukushima.
Popular celebrity searches in 2012 included the late pop singer Whitney Houston, the newly-pregnant Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton and Germany’s triple Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel.
South Korean internet sensation Gangnam Style by Psy beat German band Deichkind’s Leider Geil as the most popular song, closely followed by Canadian summer smash hit Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen and Diamonds by Rihanna.
Other surprises included disgraced ex-President Christian Wulff ranking higher than Chancellor Angela Merkel as the most googled politician, most likely due to the corruption allegations he faced earlier in the year.
His wife Bettina Wulff came sixth in the overall list of the fastest growing searches, which may ironically be because of her recent lawsuit against Google over embarrassing speculations about her past which appear in search results for her name.
Google countered the complaint explaining that the automatic results just reflected previous searches.
Meanwhile, Germans appear to be travelling closer to home as London overtook last year’s winner New York as the most searched travel destination.
On Facebook and Twitter, which also published an analysis, German football champions Borussia Dortmund got the most mentions in status updates, while the Reeperbahn in Hamburg was the place users were most often tagged at.
The most popular tweet by German Twitter users was US President Barack Obama’s victory statement “Four more years,” which was retweeted more than 810,000 times.