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Google reveals 2011’s top searches

Websites, news stories, celebrities and video games were all on our collective mind this year, as Google reveals the UK’s top searches of 2011.

In what the search giant calls its annual ‘Zeitgeist’, the top news stories, top questions, and top celeb searches have been revealed. And the results offer a telling insight into the hearts and minds of the nation.

So how have we been using the world’s favourite search engine? Here is a run-down the most surprising, most interesting and most unusual queries.

Top overall searches

The top Google searches of 2011 were the usual mix of news, retail and social networking websites. Google may be a little disappointed to see that the top spot was taken by fierce rival Facebook, but it’s hardly surprising given the enormous popularity of the site.

Other searches in the top ten included Hotmail, Google’s own YouTube, and auction site Ebay. But the most surprising search to make the top ten came in at number six.

Unbelievably, Google was the sixth most searched for thing on Google this year. Sometimes in life, the thing you are looking for is staring you straight in the face.

Top celebrity searches

The top celebrity search of the year was Kim Kardashian, presumably because people were trying to figure out why this talentless nobody has become famous.

The list was dominated by American starlets, but there was a little bit of home grown talent in the mix. Victoria Beckham and Harry Potter star Emma Watson both flew the flag for Britain.

Controversial funny man Ricky Gervais also made it into the top ten as the eighth most searched-for celeb. He was also the man to make the list.

Top ‘how-to’ queries

The most entertaining part of Google’s revelations was easily the list of top ‘how-to’ questions that people have asked the engine for help with.

Parents everywhere will be pleased to see that ‘how to revise’ was the top question this year, as students tried to figure out how to pass exams.

But other entries showed that people are perhaps relying a little too heavily on the internet for answers. Other entries in the top ten included ‘how to sleep’, ‘how to flirt’ and even ‘how to snog’. Whatever happened to good old-fashioned trial and error?