The List

The 10 most Googled search terms of 2012

"Whitney Houston" takes top honors, narrowly edging out a little something called "Gangnam Style"

Nobody's videos tug at the heartstrings quite like Google's, and the search giant's latest 2012 retrospective lives up to that sky-high standard, managing to be jump-out-of-your-chair inspirational and quietly tear-jerking at the same time. (Watch the video above.) Along with this moving clip, on Wednesday, Google released its annual global zeitgeist report, highlighting 2012's most searched for terms, distilling what people people care about down to perhaps its most basic and universally understandable form. More than 1.2 trillion searches were conducted worldwide this year, with "Whitney Houston" — who unexpectedly died in early February — topping the list. Next up was the indelible "Gangnam Style" — the strangely popular South Korean horse-dancing music video — followed by "Hurricane Sandy," which hit New York hard back in late October. "Zeitgeist means 'the spirit of the times,' and we strive to capture this spirit through exploring the year’s new and exciting search terms," Google told Bloomberg in a statement. Here, in order, are the year's most searched for terms:

1. Whitney Houston
2. Gangnam Style
3. Hurricane Sandy
4. iPad 3
5. Diablo 3
6. Kate Middleton
7. Olympics 2012
8. Amanda Todd
9. Michael Clarke Duncan
10. BBB12

Check out Google's other year-end lists, including the most searched for images, athletes, and movies, here.

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