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While we all sit around and twiddle our thumbs in the run-up to what’s historically the worst news week of the year, Google has cut through the mountains of stats with its search zeitgeist for 2011.

The top ten lists below reveal the UK’s fastest rising search topics, the top auto-fill answers for ‘What is…’ searches, the most searched-for individuals and the UK biggest losers (in many ways).

Plus, we've added in the top search terms specifically, top ten searches on news.google.co.uk and the top food & drink brands. And no, we don’t know who Darren Criss is either.

The UK's fastest rising search topics for 2011

1.Royal Wedding 

2.iPhone 5 

3.FIFA 12 


5.iPad 2 

6.Ryan Dunn 



9.Rebecca Black 

10.Ed Sheeran 

The UK's top 'What Is…?' searches of 2011

1.What is AV? 

2.What is scampi? 

3.What are truffles? 

4.What are piles? 

5.What is 4D? 

6.What are cookies? 

7.What is copyright? 

8.What is zumba? 

9.What is iCloud? 

10.What is probate? 

The UK's fastest rising people searches for 2011

1.Ryan Dunn


3.Rebecca Black 

4.Ed Sheeran 

5.Amy Winehouse 

6.Charlie Sheen 

7.Steve Jobs 

8.Kate Middleton 

9.Nicki Minaj 

10.Darren Criss 

The UK's fastest falling people searches for 2011

1.Nick Clegg 


3.Alicia Keys 

4.Heidi Montag 

5.Alexandra Burke 

6.Hayley Williams 

7.Joe McElderry 

8.Stephenie Meyer 

9.Robert Pattinson 


Top UK searches in 2011

1. Facebook 

2. YouTube 

3. Hotmail 

4. Ebay 

6. Google 

7. BBC 

8. Amazon 

9. Argos 

10. Yahoo

UK News Top 10 (top searches on news.google.co.uk) for 2011

1. BBC News 

2. Arsenal 

3. Facebook 

4. YouTube 

5. Cheryl Cole 

6. iPhone 5 

7. Liverpool 

8. Kate Middleton 

9. Manchester United 

10. Justin Bieber

Top food & drink searches in the UK for 2011

1. Asda

2. Recipes

3. Tesco

4. Sainsburys

5. Pizza

6. Chicken

7. Chocolate

8. Dominos

9. Morrisons

10. Argos

Vikki Chowney

Published 15 December, 2011 by Vikki Chowney

Vikki is head of community at TMW. You can follow her on Twitter or Google+

249 more posts from this author

Comments (7)

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David Petherick

David Petherick, Head of Digital Marketing at First Vehicle Leasing

Pizza, Chicken, Chocolate, Dominos. What a nation of gourmets we really are! ;-)

However, I must have missed the last catalogue update - slightly surprised to see that Argos is a food and drink search.

A fascinating list, thanks Vicky.

Regards, David

almost 5 years ago

David Petherick

David Petherick, Head of Digital Marketing at First Vehicle Leasing

One day I'll spell your name right first time, Vikki.

almost 5 years ago

Vikki Chowney

Vikki Chowney, Head of Social at TMW

No worries David, it happens all the time :)

almost 5 years ago


Ellen Tolsma

Dear o dear. What does this say about us? And why are so many people wondering what piles are?! ...surely they've been around for a while...

almost 5 years ago



Strange I thought Samsung Galaxy S2 would be one among it. It was revolutionary smartphone this year.

almost 5 years ago



Google plus is missing on the list :)

almost 5 years ago

Ivor Morgan

Ivor Morgan, Personal

I'm amazed that the #6 search on Google was for Google. Are people really too lazy to move the cursor to the address bar?

almost 5 years ago

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