Steve Jobs, Google+ and iPhone top Google's 2011 search list

Tech topics, led by Apple terms, were hot this year on the annual Google Zeitgeist list

What technology and technologists most interested the online world this year?

Based on the most popular 2011 Google search terms, people were most interested in getting information on Apple founder Steve Jobs, the iPhone 5, the iPad 2, and Google+.

Out of the billions of searches that people conducted on Google this year, these were the top tech topics in the company's annual list of top searches.

"This year marks our 11th annual look back at the searches that compose the year's Zeitgeist -- the spirit of the time," wrote Amit Singhal, a Google Fellow, in a blog post. "With Zeitgeist, we look at the most popular and the fastest rising terms -- the terms with the highest growth in 2011 -- in many categories across many countries around the world."

On the list of fastest-growing search terms, Google's new social networking site, Google+, came in at a strong second, while the release of Battlefield 3, a first-person shooter video game, came in at number five, and the anticipated release of the iPhone5 was number six.

Non-technology-related searches in the Top 10 list of fastest-growing searches. Rebecca Black, a teen whose song "Friday" made a huge online splash, was on top of the list, which also included Casey Anthony, the mother charged with killing her young daughter, singer Adele and the earthquake/tsunami disaster in Japan.

Google today also released a list of the fastest growing searches for consumer electronics.

Amazon's Kindle Fire topped that list, followed by Apple's iPhone 4s, the Sidekick 4g Android phone, the HP Touchpad and the Android app Spb Shell 3D.

The list of fastest-falling Google searches -- search terms whose popularity plummeted in 2011 -- was topped by Myspace, a social networking pioneer that has been eclipsed by the likes of Facebook and Google+. The fastest-falling list also included Hi5, another social networking site and Baidu, a Chinese search engine.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

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