With 2008 coming to an end, the data miners at Google, which performs more than 60 percent of searches worldwide, have compiled their Zeitgeist lists of the most popular search terms.
These latest lists include these categories: U.S., top of mind, politics, trendsetters, showbiz, sports, and around the world.
In the category of fastest-rising global searches (comparing 2007 with 2008 searches), Sarah Palin comes in at No. 1 and President elect Barack Obama at No. 6, trailing "beijing 2008," "facebook login," Tuenti" (the equivalent of Facebook in Spain), and "Heath Ledger."
In other words, Sarah Palin's more than 15 minutes of fame catapulted her into the search stratosphere.
Fastest rising global searches
1. sarah palin
2. beijing 2008
3. facebook login
5. heath ledger
7. nasza klasa
8. wer kennt wen
9. euro 2008
10. jonas brothers
Google also looked at trends, such as green issues, social networks, and most popular cocktails. The venerable martini tops the cocktail list, while Facebook is the top social-network search term.
From a global perspective, Google's YouTube was the most pervasive search term of 2008, making almost every country list and topping many of them. The growth of YouTube, which is the sources of about 40 percent of video streams in the U.S., indicates the massive shift toward Web video from other forms of media and entertainment.