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Top 2012 searches include Whitney Houston, PSY, Sandy

  • FILE - In this Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010 picture, Whitney Houston accepts an award at the Warner Theatre during the 2010 BET Hip Hop Honors in Washington. Houston was the “top trending” search of the year, according to Google Inc. People around the globe searched en masse for news about the superstar singer's sad, accidental drowning (AP Photo/Nick Wass, file)

LOS ANGELES — The world's attention wavered between the tragic and the silly in 2012, and along the way, millions of people searched the Web to find out about a royal princess, the latest iPad, and a record-breaking skydiver.

Whitney Houston was the "top trending" search of the year, according to Google Inc.'s year-end "zeitgeist" report. Google's 12th annual roundup is "an in-depth look at the spirit of the times as seen through the billions of searches on Google over the past year," the company said in a blog post Wednesday.

People around the globe searched en masse for news about Houston's accidental drowning in a bathtub just before she was to perform at a pre-Grammy Awards party in February.

Google defines topics as "trending" when they garner a high amount of traffic over a sustained period of time.

Korean rapper PSY's "Gangnam Style" music video trotted into second spot, a testament to his self-deprecating giddy-up dance move. The video is approaching a billion views on YouTube.


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