Layton, Rebecca Black among top Google searches in Canada
Published Thursday, December 15, 2011 8:47AM EST
A beloved politician who passed away, a show-stealing maid-of-honour and a girl who just wants to "get down on Friday" topped the list of Google search topics in 2011 in Canada.
The search engine giant released its annual Zeitgeist on Friday, providing a glimpse into the topics that gripped Canadians.
Former NDP leader Jack Layton, who died earlier this year after a battle with cancer, was the fastest rising search trend in Canada, said Aaron Brindle of Google Canada.
"The fastest rising Canadian was, and this is no surprise, Jack Layton who passed in the summer," Brindle told CTV's Canada AM.
"There was a state funeral and we can't forget he also had a fabulous run in the federal election and strong performance in the federal debates. So Jack Layton was the fastest-rising Canadian that people were searching for last year."
Layton was in the fourth spot overall among the fastest-rising people, however.
First on the list was Rebecca Black, a teenager from California whose mother paid for a vanity recording of her song "Friday" along with an accompanying music video.
The song quickly became viewed as one of the worst songs ever written, but that didn't stop the video from going viral, achieving around 167 million views.
"I think this is a little bit of Google or YouTube jiu-jitsu where you have something that's critically panned but then you have this surge of online popularity," Brindle said.
Pippa Middleton, the sister and maid of honour to Catherine Middleton, who married Prince William last summer, followed in second place.
Middleton -- largely unheard of outside of the U.K. before the wedding -- stunned many of the millions of worldwide television viewers when she appeared in a sleek white gown, and quickly became a household name.
"Searches for Pippa Middleton in April go up like a hockey stick. I think her turn as maid of honour in the royal wedding solidified her place in the Google Zeitgeist this year," Brindle said.
Ryan Dunn, an American reality TV star and member of the "Jackass" crew who was killed in a car crash over the summer, followed in third place, with Layton in fourth.
Following is the top 10 list of Canada's fastest-rising people searches:
- 1. Rebecca Black
- 2. Pippa Middleton
- 3. Ryan Dunn
- 4. Jack Layton
- 5. Casey Anthony
- 6. Adele
- 7. Amy Winehouse
- 8. Osama Bin Laden
- 9. Charlie Sheen
- 10. Steve Jobs
Perhaps surprisingly, it wasn't a celebrity or viral video that topped the list of Canada's fastest rising search queries, however.
The website for Canada's Census 2011 was the most searched for topic in Canada last year, followed by the video game Skyrim and "Canada Post strike."
Rebecca Black, Ryan Dunn, the Japan earthquake, the medieval fantasy show "Game of Thrones," Jack Layton, the royal wedding and Google Plus rounded out the list.
The copious number of searches related to Justin Bieber were broken down by topic, with the words "Selena Gomez," "Bieber Baby" and "Bieber haircut" taking the top three spots in the Bieber category.