Chatroulette, iPad lead Google's Zeitgeist 2010

Google has revealed the top queries on its search service for the year. Chatroulette and iPad were among the "fastest rising" terms--and, yes, Justin Bieber made the list too.

Don Reisinger
Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
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The World Cup was on the minds of many this year.
The World Cup was on the minds of many this year. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Google's annual Zeitgeist, which delivers the top searches of the year, once again provides an interesting look into what the world was thinking about.

According to Google, "Chatroulette" was the "fastest rising" search term around the world in 2010, beating out Apple's iPad and Justin Bieber, which took the second- and third-place spots, respectively. Recording artist Nicki Minaj came on the scene in a big way in 2010, capturing the fourth spot on Google's list. Twitter and Facebook also made a showing in the top 10 list, taking the No. 8 and 10 spots, respectively.

But just as quickly as those search terms rose during the year, there were some queries that fell from favor.

Google revealed that "swine flu" was the "fastest falling" search term around the world this year, followed by "wamu" and "new moon." Michael Jackson, last year's top search query, took the ninth spot in Google's list of falling queries.

In the "fastest rising in entertainment" category, Justin Bieber led the way this year, besting Shakira and Eminem. Surprisingly, "Netflix" and "YouTube videos" rounded out the top five, beating out Lady Gaga and Kesha, two of the more popular pop artists this year.

On the sports side, "Mundial 2010" led the way, thanks to the World Cup. It was followed by "Olympics." The Haiti earthquake was on the minds of more people than any other news topic this year, and "donate to Haiti" led the top search queries for humanitarian aid.

Google also examined what topics were most popular in the consumer electronics space this year. And not surprisingly, Apple's iPad and iPhone 4 took the top two spots. They were trailed by the Nokia 5530, HTC Evo 4G, and the Nokia N900.

Google's Zeitgeist findings are notably different from those released recently by the company's competitors.

According to Yahoo, the BP oil spill was the most popular search term on its service in 2010, followed by the World Cup and Miley Cyrus. AOL reported that Tiger Woods was the most popular celebrity topic on its service, while New York City's bedbug troubles led the service's health-related queries.

Microsoft revealed in its own roundup of top searches that Kim Kardashian was the most popular search query on Bing this year. She was followed by Sandra Bullock and Tiger Woods.