What Was Google Zeitgeist?

Google Trends replaces Zeitgeist

City scape through the lens of a magnifying glass

 fanjianhua/Getty Images

Google Zeitgeist, operated by Google, was a weekly, monthly, and yearly snapshot of the most popular searches typed into Google Search from all around the world. This was done to show what people were most interested in during that time period and to showcase the people and other events that made a name.

Google has discontinued Zeitgeist, but most of its features can be found in Google Trends.

What Was Available on Google Zeitgeist?

Take a look at this example of Google Zeitgeist from September 2001. You'll find the top five misspellings of that month, the top 10 gaining and declining queries, which Google Images searches were the most popular, and more.

Google Zeitgeist from September 2001
Google Zeitgeist 2009 overview

In this view, you can see categories such as these:

  • In the News: The top Google Search queries regarding the economy, health and wellness, and headline news.
  • Celebrities: Most-searched-for celebrity Twitter accounts, searches about celebrities that passed away, breakup searches, and queries about celebrities' babies.
  • That's Entertaining: Most-searched-for lyrics, memes, movie trailers, TV shows, video games, and concert tickets.
  • Around the Home: Google searches about recipes, how-tos, infomercials, homemade items, exercise, and diets.
  • City by City: Unique popular searches originating from big cities like Boston MA, Chicago IL, Atlanta GA, Los Angeles CA, and Miami FL.

Depending on the year, you might also have been able to see the most-searched-for women, men, new products, music groups, retailers, brands, cuisines, news resources, music services, social networks, cocktails, professional services, comfort foods, Google News searches, and more.

Google Zeitgeist Archives

You can still view some Google Zeitgeists via archives stored on Google's website.

Here are some year-end Google Zeitgeists:

Specific months are available, too:

Google Trends Replaces Google Zeitgeist

While Google Zeitgeist no longer exists, you can still gain insight into what people are looking for on the world's most popular search engine with Google Trends. It takes popular topics, such as the World Series, elections, or movies, and gives you a moment-in-time insight into what is currently trending in those topic areas. 

Featured insights usually revolve around trending events, holidays, and newsworthy situations. You can also see today's search trends on Google.

People all over the world and in every geographical region can access this information on Google Trends, getting a glimpse into what people are searching for on a wide variety of subjects. 

Year in Search is similar to Google Zeitgeist. It's a feature of Google Trends that shows what was trending last year in various countries.

Google Trends Year in Search for 2018

Queries are separated into categories for searches, news, people, actors, athletes, beauty questions, diet, fashion brands, food, GIFs, how to, loss, movies, musicians and bands, politicians, what is...?, where is...?, who...?, TV shows, video games, and several others.