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See who scored points in the GOP debate, according to Google

The search giant tracked which candidates had America running to the keyboard. Did any of them trump Trump?

Donald Trump takes a jab at Jeb Bush as Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker looks on. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Onstage Thursday night in Ohio at the first GOP debate, the leading Republican presidential candidates debated the issues, political correctness, and of course -- Trump. There were plenty of digs and zings, but who really scored points and caught the interest of viewers?

Google tracked which candidates were drawing the most search interest throughout the debate, and in the end, Trump remained on top after weeks of being the most searched candidate for the White House. Lesser-known surgeon Ben Carson came in a surprising second at the end of the debate and Sen. Ted Cruz also had a moment toward the beginning where he topped search interest.

The visualization below, created by the Google News Lab, shows the changing level of search interest in each candidate during the course of the main debate.

When the lower-polling candidates who participated in the odd, early debate are taken into account, most predictably generated less search interest than the main stage candidates. The notable exception is Carly Fiorina, the former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, who earned praise for her early performance, ending the night generating more search interest than Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, both of whom participated in the prime-time debate.

Like almost everything happening in this very early stage of the campaign, the significance of this search data is pretty unclear with respect to what it means for the actual primary process. Keep in mind that questions people ask Google about candidates include things like "How tall is Jeb Bush?" and "How old is Ben Carson?" -- both are the most asked questions about each respective candidate, according to Google Trends.

And of course, it's tough to tell how seriously voters and viewers are taking these early debates. Just before they got underway Thursday afternoon, Google reported a surge in another trending search topic: GOP debate drinking games.