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Google Announces Top Searches of 2008

Right on the heels of Yahoo!'s top search announcement last week, Google has posted its annual year-end Zeitgeist report, revealing the year's most popular searches by country.

Not surprisingly, President-Elect Obama took first place in the United States' fastest rising general searches, with former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin taking seventh. Interestingly enough, though, Palin was the fastest rising search globally, while Obama was placed at number six. The Beijing Olympics also held a place in both the US and global rankings, taking eighth and second, respectively.

These findings, according to the New York Times, bring up questions of personal security in the Internet age and demonstrate the degree to which Internet surfers give away facts about themselves.

Which site do you use most often for Internet searches?
Google4567 (77.3%)
Yahoo!332 (5.6%)
Windows Live47 (0.8%)
AOL843 (14.3%)
I don't use any of those sites118 (2.0%)

"It would be very scary if we could play back every search we made," West Point professor Lt. Col. Greg Conti told the Times about Google's analytical tools. "Those can be tied back very precisely to an individual."

That being said, though, Professor Conti concedes that relinquishing personal details is just part and parcel of using the Internet, a sort of payment for ostensibly free services. And with Google's introducing more easily personalized features, it follows that Google analysts will be privy to more personalized information.

"There's really no solution now -- except abstinence," he admitted to the Times. "And if you choose not to use online tools, you're not a member of the 21st century." [From: Google and the New York Times]

Tags: 2008, barack obama, BarackObama, olympics, sarah palin, SarahPalin, trends, web, zeitgeist