After the cheating saga of “Twilight” co-stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart came to light, Ask.com users this year overwhelmingly asked one question: "Will Rob and Kristen get back together?" That was the top trending question of 2012 from Ask.com.
Spoiler alert: apparently, yes. At least for now. The big question now: is KStew pregnant with the spawn of RPatz? Will they name their unborn and potentially immortal child Renesmee? And why do I even know any of this?
But there was more on people’s minds than celebrities. Ask.com also revealed top news and political search terms and questions.
On a sad note, it seems Ask.com's year end compilation now filters out some of the most fun and humorous questions they used to include a couple years ago – or perhaps people have finally figured out how to get pregnant without the help of search engines or that Lady Gaga isn't a man (or is she?).
Ask.com also used Harris Interactive to conduct a survey (because they really wanted to “dig deeper” into these trends) of 2,071 adults that aims to complement their list, but really doesn’t add much of anything. OK, let’s have a look.
Top Celebrity Search Terms & Questions
We already know Pattinson and Stewart led the way on this year’s list. Last year it was all about Kim Kardashian (was her wedding fake?), but now she’s nowhere to be found – though she was still highly sought after, according to Bing's list of 2012 top searches. Anyway, here's the full list:
- Kristen Stewart. Will Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart get back together?
- Katie Holmes. Was Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise's marriage fake?
- Psy – Gangnam Style. What does Gangnam Style mean?
- Snooki. When is Snooki's baby due?
- Prince Harry. What will happen to Prince Harry because of the nude pictures?
- Brad Pitt. How big is Angelina's engagement ring?
- Carly Rae Jepsen. What is the best Call Me Maybe parody?
- Jessica Biel. When are Justin and Jessica getting married?
- Miley Cyrus. Why did Miley Cyrus cut her hair?
- Ryan Lochte. Does Ryan Lochte have a girlfriend?
By the way, in answer to number 7, here’s the best parody:
Prove me wrong, people.
Digging “deeper”, Ask’s survey points out that Kate Middleton is the “overall favorite celebrity” of 2012. Not sure how she even figures in when she’s not on the list, but OK. And in case you were worried, Pitt, Jolie, Cruise, Holmes, and Stewart are all also super popular. Shocker!
Top News Search Terms & Questions
The Olympics, death and destruction, the iPhone, and Facebook’s IPO were among the biggest news events of the year. Here’s what people were asking about on Ask.com.
- 2012 Olympics. How many medals did the US gymnastics team win?
- Hurricane Sandy. What is the damage from Hurricane Sandy?
- Black Knight shooting. What happened at the Colorado shooting?
- Jerry Sandusky. What is Jerry Sandusky's sentence?
- iPhone 5. When will the iPhone 5 be released?
- Facebook IPO. When is the Facebook IPO?
- Lance Armstrong. Did Lance Armstrong take drugs?
- Whitney Houston. How did Whitney Houston die?
- Costa Concordia. How did the Costa Concordia sink?
- Trayvon Martin. Why was Trayvon Martin Shot?
Again, Ask went “deeper” to let us know that the country is split on Armstrong being stripped of his titles, most people think there’s no difference between the iPhone 5 and previous versions, people think Facebook stock is a bad buy, and the Colorado shooting was the most “shocking” headline. Oddly, the survey stopped short of mentioning that the sky is blue and water is wet.
Top Political Searches & Questions
As you’d expect, the multi-billion dollar presidential campaign that essentially changed nothing was quite a popular search topic. Gay marriage, Obamacare, and legitimate rape were also in the mix:
- Presidential race. Who will win the Presidential race?
- Democratic National Convention. When is Clinton speaking at the DNC?
- Mitt Romney. What did Mitt Romney say about 47 percent?
- Republican National Convention. Why did Clint Eastwood talk to a chair in his speech?
- Chick-Fil-A. What did the CEO of Chick-Fil-A say about gay marriage?
- Todd Akin. What did Todd Akin say about legitimate rape?
- Gay marriage. Where is gay marriage legal?
- Obamacare. What is Obamacare?
- Greece bankruptcy. Is Greece bringing down the Euro?
- John Edwards. Was John Edwards found guilty?
The only additional “deep” insight from Ask’s survey: 59 percent of Americans don’t like to read friends' political views on Facebook. Figured that number would be higher.
Ask.com also put together this 2012 video "flipbook":
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!