The end of 2007 is just round the corner now, so we’re entering the time of the year that’s crammed with reviews of the last twelve months.

One of the more interesting is Google’s annual Zeitgeist: a look at¬†notable search terms from last year.

It’s rather US-focused but still worth a look. In Google’s own words, it’s “a look back at the breaking news, the big events and the must-have gadgets that captivated us this year”.

Unsurprisingly, ‘iphone’ was the fastest-rising search term both worldwide and in the US, reflecting the remarkable buzz around Apple’s mobile phone.

Rumours of their deaths spawned spikes in Google News searches for several notable names, including Michael Jackson, Criss Angel and Fidel Castro.

Transformers was the most searched for movie, Heroes the top TV show and Rihanna’s Umbrella had people scrambling to search for the lyrics – presumably to work out what on earth the song is all about.

And we’re still preoccupied by the big questions: ‘who is god’, ‘what is love’ and, er, ‘how to kiss’ came out top in the ‘who is…’, ‘what is…’ and ‘how to…’ categories.

You can see Google’s full 2007 Zeitgeist here.

If you’d rather see some UK-specific details, there are lists of the top gaining queries – for the most recent month¬†and previous months (in the archives).

Finally, if you haven’t seen it, Google Trends is also a good way of wasting time online doing valuable research. You can compare the search volumes for different terms over time, and even see how news events influenced the number of searches.

Have a look at this example comparing Led Zeppelin with the Spice Girls to see what I mean.

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