Top Google searches in 2011: iPad 3, iPhone 5, Steve Jobs and yes – Rebecca Black

As originally reported on our sister blog, the search Goliath has published its annual list of top search queries, a tradition that started eleven years ago. It comes as little surprise that ‘iPad 3′ and ‘iPhone 5′ were among the fastest-growing search terms of the past year. More specifically, ‘iPhone 5′ was the sixth fastest-growing search term on Google.com in 2011, while ‘iPad 3′ ranked tenth.

Feverish iPhone 5 speculation hit its highest point in search the week of September 25, just a week ahead of the October 4 iPhone 4S presser. Searches for ‘iPhone 5′ rose 1,658 percent between 2010 and 2011, easily outnumbering those for the iPhone 4S, as seen in the above chart from the Zeitgeist site. Searches for ‘Steve Jobs’ grew 982 percent in 2011, enough to score the ninth spot.

Called Zeitgeist, the project “sorts billions of Google searches to capture the year’s ten fastest-rising global queries and the rest of the spirit of 2011″, per the official Google blog post. In a testament to the popularity of the Kindle Fire, positioned as an inexpensive iPad alternative, Amazon’s tablet placed ahead of Apple’s new phone, the iPhone 4S, which ranked second in the fastest-rising consumer electronics category, followed by the HTC Sensation, the Samsung Nexus Prime, Sony NPG and the yet-to-be-released iPad 3 (#9).

Two unreleased products piquing such a commanding interest – the cell phone that never materialized and the forthcoming tablet – wow, talk about the power of the Apple hype machine. More below the fold.

Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs made the list (mark 1:50) was the ninth fastest-growing search term on Google.com in 2011.

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