Whitney Houston's untimely demise in February of this year led to her being the most searched term on Google in all of 2012, followed by "Gangnam Style," which ranked No. 2 and is on pace to hit an unprecedented 1 billion views on YouTube. With 1.2 trillion searches in 146 languages throughout the year, Google gives arguably the best glimpse of what's trending around the world.
In terms of overall searches, "Hurricane Sandy" (No. 3), "iPad 3" (No 4.) and "Diablo 3" (No. 5) also ranked high in search trends. It gets a little more interesting when you start breaking things down by category.
For example, we can surmise that teenage girls dominate image search results, lest anyone can come up with another reason why "One Direction" led Google's image search queries. The "iPhone 5" (No. 3) and "Minecraft" (No. 8) both sneaked into the list of image searches that were otherwise dominated by celebrities.
There were no big surprises in the Consumer Electronics category, which was led by the "iPad 3" and followed by the "Samsung Galaxy S3," "iPad Mini," "Nexus 7," and "Galaxy Note 2" (in that order).
Looking for a sign of the apocalypse? In the TV Shows category, "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" (No. 3) ranked higher than "Game of Thrones" (No. 6). "American Horror Story" and "Sons of Anarchy" both didn't even make the top 10 search results, which I view as a real travesty.