Royal wedding tops Google's Zeitgeist 2011 search list

Prince William and Duchess of Cambridge The royal wedding proves popular with Googlers

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In 2011, Britons were keen to find out how to wallpaper and all about the latest fitness craze Zumba.

That's according to Google's annual Zeitgeist - a look back at the most popular search terms of the year.

The royal wedding topped the list of "fastest rising" search terms, with Apple's yet-to-be-released iPhone 5 coming in second place.

The most intriguing list was the "what is" top 10, with a diverse set of queries including "what is scampi".

Nephrops

Interest in scampi has gone up by over 80% over the year but David Jarrad, director of the Shellfish Association of Great Britain, is at a loss to say why.

"I'm quite surprised. It has been a traditional pub grub for many decades and it remains the UK's most popular and valuable shellfish by a long way," he said.

But he could not explain why interest had spiked so much this year.

He could, however, offer an explanation of what scampi is for those who have not yet Googled it.

FASTEST RISING SEARCHES

  • Royal wedding
  • iPhone 5
  • FIFA 12
  • Groupon
  • iPad 2
  • Ryan Dunn
  • Adele
  • Minecraft
  • Rebecca Black
  • Ed Sheeran

"Scampi is the tail of a Nephrops, also known as a Dublin Bay prawn or Norwegian lobster," he said.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will be heartened to know that the British public, despite voting against AV (Alternative Vote) in a referendum, did want to know more about it. It topped the "what is" list.

Complex subjects

Revealing themselves to be a diligent lot, Britons also sought out tips on how to revise. It topped the "how to" list, followed by another teenage obsession - how to snog.

"As usual, search is helping people satisfy their appetite for celebrity pictures and salacious gossip - and this year is no different, with Kim Kardashian and Rebecca Black coming to the fore and Ricky Gervais the only man gatecrashing the female-dominated top 10 celebs list," said a Google spokesman.

"But what we're also seeing is that people are turning to Google to understand complex subjects like the alternative vote system and searching for tips and tricks on how best to revise for exams," he added.

Singer Adele made it into two top 10s - number two on the fastest-rising people list, just above the less obvious pop star Rebecca Black, whose debut single catapulted her into the limelight when it was released on YouTube to universal derision.

"WHAT IS... ?" TOP SEARCHES

  • What is AV
  • What is scampi
  • What are truffles
  • What are piles
  • What is 4D
  • What are cookies
  • What is copyright
  • What is Zumba
  • What is iCloud
  • What is probate

She also came seventh in "fastest-rising" searches, just below Ryan Dunn - the star of TV show Jackass who died in a car crash this year.

Illustrating the British obsession with the latest gadgets and a love of a bargain, both the iPad 2 and Groupon also featuring in the "fastest-rising" list.

There was interest in cookies, presumably the coding kind, possibly based on new guidelines about how websites can use them.

Copyright also featured. That is sure to please the content industry as it continues efforts to educate people that downloading paid-content for free is illegal.

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