2012: the Year in Search, the Year on Twitter

As 2012 winds to a close, Google and Twitter, two of the most influential Internet services, have released some fascinating (and sometimes moving) end of the year summaries.

2012: the year in searchGoogle Zeitgeist 2012

I guess it’s fair to say we were searching for something in 2012. Or should I say 1.2 trillion things. Because that’s how many searches Google reported we made on their Zeitgeist 2012 website.

Click to watch The Year in Review video for a moving look at the year’s milestone moments, or browse through the 11 categories to see the world’s most popular search terms of the year.

In Events, Hurricane Sandy, Kate Middleton Pictures, and Olympics 2012 topped the list. In Consumer Electronics, iPad 3, Samsung Galaxy S3, and iPad Mini took top honors. For People, it was Whitney Houston, Kate Middleton, and Amanda Todd. For Athletes it was Jeremy Lin, Michael Phelps, and Payton Manning.

Be sure to click Select a Country and select the United States to get a much more detailed view of what we were searching for. One interesting tidbit: of all the “How to…” searches, “how to love,” “how to rock,” and “how to vote” topped the list.

2012 Year on Twitter

For a Tweets-eye view of the year, head on over to Twitter’s 2012 Year on Twitter website.

In the Golden Tweets section you’ll learn that the year’s most retweeted tweet (and the most retweeted ever) was President Obama’s succinct “Four more years,” sent out to followers just before he came out to acknowledge his re-election in person.

Justin Bieber had the #2 tweet of the year, the poignant “RIP Avalanna. i love you.”  He sent out to mark the passing away of a 6-year-old fan who was stricken by brain cancer.

Pulse of the planet highlights the year’s most tweeted and retweeted events: the Summer Olympics, U.S. Elections, MTV Video Music Awards, Super Bowl, and more.

Only on Twitter chronicles the year’s events that really came to life on Twitter. Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Lab live-tweeted the Curiosity rover’s landing on Mars. Astronauts on the International Space Station tweeted about their unique view of superstorm Sandy. And a James Cameron sent a tweet from the Mariana Trench, 35,755 ft.  below sea level.

Visit Trends to see all the topics and hashtags that surged in popularity during the year and check out New voices to see all the celebrities, politicians, and other noteworthy people who joined Twitter during the year.

If you’re one of our dial-up, DSL, cable Internet or other high-speed Internet access members, let us know which of these events, people, or topics you searched for or Tweeted about in 2012.

Internet Marketing Is…Recession Proof?

“Direct Mail is Dead!”  “Door to door advertising is useless!” “No one listens to telemarketers anymore.” “People skip commercials now!”

…and the list goes on.  Recently there has been a lot of speculation and doomsday speak about how companies can no longer rely on traditional marketing methods to sell their wares, thanks to changing technology, fatigue (customers are sick of the traditional methods), and the recession.  While the decline in effectiveness is evident in forms of traditional marketing, they aren’t dead yet (otherwise, we wouldn’t have commercials!).

But small businesses can be confused as to where to spend their (now even tighter-than-usual) budgets…since nothing seems to work anymore.  But notice that there are no foreboding phrases about how internet advertising doesn’t work.  There aren’t any because it does work.  Let EarthLink help you successfully market online with our online marketing and SEO (Search Engine Optimization…a fancy term for “get better results when people search google for you”) services!  Start using marketing tactics that work!

Top Internet Search Tips – Part 2

This second post in our Top Internet Search Tips series gives you 5 more ways to search better with Google. Click here for Internet Search Tips – Part 1. When you’re ready for more, click the link at the end of this post for Internet Search Tips Part 3, with more advanced search techniques. Here’s to better Internet searches…
  1. Add “quotation marks” to find only exact phrases: Google already considers the order of words you enter, but to find a sentence, phrase or words in exact order you can add quotation marks. Keep in mind, this will exclude other variations of the phrase.
  2. Add an asterisk (*) to fill in the blanks: An * with spaces around it (called a “wildcard search”) tells Google to find pages that fill in the blanks. For example, enter Einstein discovered * in * to get results saying which discoveries the scientist made in which years. You can also use this technique if you don’t remember a full name or phrase. Searching for William * Sherman will get you accurate results for civil war general William Tecumseh Sherman and exclude Sherwin-Williams paint and other men named William Sherman.
  3. Add a tilde (~ ) to include synonyms: In many cases there are several different terms used to describe the same thing. Entering the ~ before a search term tells Google to include related terms and synonyms. E.g., ~notebooks returns results for notebooks, laptops and other portable computers.
  4. Find date or price ranges: To find date or products ranges, you can use two periods connecting the numbers or a hyphen between them (with either no spaces or spaces on both sides). E.g., search for oscars 1990 – 1999oscars 1990-1999, or oscars 1990..1999. For prices, you need to use a dollar sign ($), as in led tv $500-$800.
  5. Search within a specific site: Here’s another time-saver: Instead of going to a website then searching the website, you can type your search terms into Google and then add site: followed by a web address. For example, election site:cnn.com will find you election-related news and information on CNN’s website, and high-speed internet site:www.earthlink.net will find information about EarthLink’s high speed Internet services.
For more advanced search tips, go to Part 3 of our Internet Search Tips series.

Top Internet Search Tips – Part 1

To help you save time and get the very best results on all your online searches, here are our top 5 Internet search tips for Google. This first part in our Internet search tip series will cover the basics. Click here for Internet Search Tips – Part 2, which covers more advanced techniques. Most of the tips will also work with other search engines. Here’s to better Internet searching…

  1. Don’t search if you have a web address: Save yourself some time: if you know, for example, you want to go to www.EarthLink.net, don’t search with Google. Enter all URLs/addresses directly in your web browser’s address box and go right to the site you want.
  2. Start simple: Google uses all the words you enter, but in most cases only needs the basics: simple nouns (people, places, things) and perhaps a modifier or two. If you enter too much information you can limit your results because Google can’t find pages that have all the words you entered.
  3. Capitalization and punctuation don’t matter: earthlink and aarp are the same as EarthLink and AARP. Adding a question mark doesn’t change your search query either.
  4. Add -minus sign to exclude terms: if you’re helping your child research the explorer magellan, you can exclude all results for Magellan GPS products by entering magellan –gps (no space between - and the word you want to exclude). Spiderman -movie would return information about Spiderman without movie-related results.
  5. Use OR if you don’t need all terms together: Google by default looks for all terms you enter. So if you want to find pages that are about both high-speed DSL and cable Internet, enter DSL cable Internet; but using DSL OR cable Internet will find pages about each kind of Internet service individually.
Go to Part 2 for more Internet Search Tips.