Weekly Zeitgeist Encompasses Winter Pastimes Of All Kinds

January 17, 2006

Google Announces Top 15 Gainers for the Week Ending January 16

For U.S. Google users, mid-January means the quest is on for information on outdoor sports (football, skating) as well as favored indoor activities (Golden Globes, literary scandal, celebrity gossip). People are curious about stars currently on screen (James Franco) as well as those off-screen but in the news (Joe Pichler, Angelina Jolie, Kim Mathers). Headlines that began appearing last week pinpointed interest in an ethical problem (James Frey, Smoking Gun), though ethics weren’t the emphasis of a new news outlet in Japan (Naked News). Maybe (Friday the 13th) explains everything – but probably not.

For breaking news and obscure information alike, people around the world search on Google. Below is a summary of the Google Zeitgeist results for the top 15 gainers on Google.com when comparing search queries that have risen by a significant percentage for the week of January 9-16.

For more information, visit the Google Zeitgeist at www.google.com/zeitgeist.

Google.com Gainers

  1. joe pichler – former child actor, now 18, has been missing since Jan. 8 and is feared dead in Bremerton, WA
  2. golden globes – Hollywood’s annual award season for best in film, TV kicked off with this Jan. 16 gala
  3. james franco – former "Freaks and Geeks" star now appears in the classical romance "Tristan and Isolde," which opened Jan. 13
  4. james frey – best-selling author whose book, "A Million Little Pieces," has been touted on Oprah’s book club is now busy clarifying details of his personal memoir, which came under attack for fabrication last week
  5. angelina jolie pregnant – the rumors appear to be true; on Jan. 11, the activist actress confirmed she and actor Brad Pitt will have a baby together
  6. martin luther king – the annual U.S. holiday in commemoration for the civil rights leader, who died in 1968, took place Jan. 16
  7. kim mathers – ex-wife of rapper Eminem became his wife again as they remarried Jan. 14 in Rochester, MI
  8. sasha cohen – young skater won U.S. Figure Skating Championship Jan. 14, earning a place on the Olympic team
  9. smoking gun – the investigative site revealed details Jan. 9 about author James Frey’s book that have led him to clarify details found in his best-selling memoir
  10. denver broncos – formerly an also-ran, the team won the American Football Conference championship on Jan. 14, getting one step closer to a Super Bowl presence
  11. naked news – having spread via the Internet and mobile devices since its 1999 debut in Canada, the outlet for news by the disrobed launched Jan. 10 as a mobile subscription service in Japan
  12. hoodwinked – animated feature based on the tale of Little Red Riding Hood did well at the box office during Jan. 13 opening weekend
  13. michelle wie – 16-year-old golf phenomenon didn’t win big at Sony Open on Jan. 14, triggering sports press speculation about her ability to compete on the men’s circuit
  14. seahawks – Seattle football team came from behind to beat Washington Redskins Jan. 14 to win National Football Conference championship, putting them one game away from Super Bowl status
  15. friday the 13th – as it happens occasionally, last Friday was that superstitious day when we attribute trouble (or weirdness) to a long-held "day of bad luck" tradition

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