Corporate Eye

Most Popular Google Searches in 2009 Unveil Opportunities for Brand Marketing

Each year, Google produces a report (the Google Zeitgeist) that provides an overview of the top rising and falling search terms in a variety of categories and in a variety of regions throughout the world (as well as globally).  The most popular Google searches in 2009 were predominantly related to entertainment and breaking news, but there are some trends that brand strategists can take away from the statistics to help create marketing plans for 2010 and beyond.

First, take a look at the top 5 fastest rising searches on Google in 2009 globally:

  1. michael jackson
  2. facebook
  3. tuenti
  4. twitter
  5. sanalika

Compare those to the top 5 fastest rising searches on Google in the United States in 2009:

  1. twitter
  2. michael jackson
  3. facebook
  4. hulu
  5. hi5

Notice something in common between these two lists?

How about the fact that two of the fastest rising searches globally and three of the fastest rising searches in the United States were for social networking and microblogging sites (Facebook, Twitter and hi5)? And Hulu, which offers streaming video of television shows and movies as well as from sites like MySpace and Facebook, also made an appearance on the top five fastest rising searches in the United States in 2009.

So what does this tell us?

The opportunities for brands to connect with consumers through social networking are vast and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.  The fact that people are still searching for information about sites like Twitter and Facebook tells us that there is still growing interest in the social Web among an audience of social networking and microblogging novices.

In short, if there was any doubt in your mind that you should be investing in promoting your brand and building relationships with consumers through social networking, microblogging, content sharing, and so on, then let Google search trends seal the deal for you.  In other words, if all the statistics from research studies that show the opportunity to connect with consumers via the social Web haven’t convinced you or your executives to shift part of your budget to social media marketing, then let actual Google searches prove it to you.

The social Web represents the biggest opportunity to connect with consumers, build brand loyalty, and generate word-of-mouth marketing.  It’s a dream come true for marketers, but just as marketers struggled to find ways to connect with consumers through new media introduced generations ago, we struggle to find the best ways to connect with and motivate consumers to action through the new social media of the 21st century.

It’s an exciting time to be a marketer.  Sure we face a lot of challenges, particularly in terms of changing existing mindsets and shifting investments from traditional to new media, but there truly has never been a more exciting time to be a marketer in our lifetimes than today.

Here’s to an exciting and successful 2010!  See you on the social Web!

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.