Top 10 Google searches: implications and ramifcations

on Dec 10 in marketing, search, social networks, strategy, trends posted by

Today Google published its top 10 global searches. The list is what the company calls the zeitgeist (the spirit of the times) as seen through the lens of its massive database of search queries.

Here’s the list.

  1. sarah palin
  2. beijing 2008
  3. facebook login
  4. tuenti
  5. heath ledger
  6. obama
  7. nasza klasa
  8. wer kennt wen
  9. euro 2008
  10. jonas brothers

Perhaps it’s no surprise seeing Sarah Palin at the top of the list, highlighting the role Google can play in taking a politician from relatively obscurity to national awareness.

But perhaps more surprising than Ms. Palin’s presence at the top of the list, or the inclusion of Obama or deceased film star Heath Ledger (who starred as The Joker in the recent Batman movie, The Dark Knight), is that three of the top ten are non-English words, and five of the top ten (including the foreign terms) relate to non-US topics.

We are seeing the trend of internationalization of the Internet unfold before our eyes. As search marketing and other forms of Web marketing increase their share of ad budgets, marketers will want to take heed of this trend, particularly if they have products that are sold in international markets.

However, perhaps the most profound implication of this list is for the increasing role of social networks in people’s lives across the world. Including the three international terms (explanation below), four of the the top ten searches were for topics related to social networks.

Anyone involved in social marketing, take heed. With internationalization of social networks (more than 80 percent of Facebook’s traffic growth was international for the 12 months to June 2008, according to an article by Michael Arrington), marketers will need to understand how to message to this segment in their turf, on their terms.

NOTE: The meanings of the non-English terms are as follows:

  • tuenti: A Madrid-based, social networking website that has been referred to as the “Spanish Facebook. Tuenti
  • nasza klasa (Our Class): A large social networking platform for people in Poland. naszaklasa
  • wer kennt wen (Who knows whom): A German social networking website. Wer Kennt Wen

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