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Here's to 2012: A Look Back at the Most Popular Searches in Arabia

By Wael Nabbout | December 12, 2012 | Section: Analysis |

Google announced today its Zeitgeist for 2012, an annual report compiled using over one trillion search queries received throughout the year which highlight the top trends of 2012. The report reveals the most popular search queries in general as well as the top queries for individual themes including people, images, athletes, sports teams, TV shows and travel destinations.

In Egypt, searches showed a growing interest in political and social issues, in contrast to previous years where sports and entertainment had dominated. Additionally, the report also revealed that Egyptians are turning to the Internet as their number one source of information on-the-go.

Among the top 10 searches, أحداث بورسعيد was the most popular query for 2012. The presidential elections also weighed in heavily with  اللجنة العليا للإنتخابات in 2nd spot, إنتخابات الرئاسة in 9th followed by مشروع النهضة . Some queries from the 2011 Zeitgeist still made the list albeit a small decrease in interest: ميدان التحرير dropped from 2nd place to 4th while محاكمة مبارك dropped from 6th to 8th. The interest in politics is further emphasized with 2 political parties present in the top 10 list with حزب النور and الحرية والعدالة.

The regional political scene spilled over into Saudi Arabia and the UAE, with الثورة السورية , الجيش السوري الحر , and محمد مرسي ranking among the 10 most searched terms in those countries. The most sticking difference between the UAE and the other two however is the heavy focus on entertainment and global events with Hurricane Sandy, the 2012 Olympics and Gangnam Style, and the dominance of English in search, a reflection of the high number of expats in the country. The UAE is also the only one where tech gadgets are present in the top 10 list.

To get a full view of the Zeitgeist, be sure to check the dedicated Egypt, KSA and UAE reports. You can also access the global rankings here.

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