And, finally, in a banner year for President-elect Barack Obama, it isn't surprising that the future commander in chief also commanded the Internet. "Barack Obama" was the fastest-rising Google search term in 2008 in the U.S., topping "iPhone" (fourth), "YouTube" (fifth), "Palin" (seventh) and "surf the channel" (10th -- the term takes users to a popular video indexing site). In this photo, President-elect Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) speaks to supporters during his election night rally after being declared the winner of the 2008 U.S. Presidential Campaign in Chicago, November 4, 2008.
Sarah Palin. When Sen. John McCain chose the Alaska governor to be his running mate, she shot from relative obscurity to the limelight overnight. As her star rose, so did the number of people searching for her online. Her name was the fastest-rising photo online. On Google Image Search, "Sarah Palin" was the most searched-for term of 2008. In this photo, U.S. Republican vice- presidential nominee Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin waves to the crowd after U.S. Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-AZ) delivered his concession speech at their election night rally in Phoenix, November 4, 2008.
Thanks the McCain campaign, a once unknown Joe Wurzelbacher also made his mark on Google this year. "Joe the Plumber" topped the list of most-searched-for campaign buzzwords. Other names included Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers. But "Yes We Can," "Lipstick on a Pig" and, of course, "Maverick" also made the top ten list. "Hockey Mom" came in tenth. In this photo, Joe Wurzelbacher stands onstage at a campaign rally with U.S. Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-AZ) in Mentor, Ohio October 30, 2008. Senator McCain is on a two day, campaign bus tour through the state of Ohio.
MySpace and LinkedIn certainly have their followers, but Facebook edged them out of the No. 1 slot in Google's most-searched-for social networks category this year. Facebook was also the second-fastest rising general term in the U.S. this year.
Many big names went their separate ways this year (Miley Cryus and Nick Jonas, Sarah Silverman and Jimmy Kimmel) but the breakup between Hugh Hefner and Holly Madison was the most-searched-for breakup on Google year. Holly Madison and Hugh Hefner arrive to the 20th Anniversary of Madden NFL Franchise Celebration Hosted by EA Sports at STK/CoCo De Ville in West Hollywood, CA on August 7, 2008.
In the most-searched-for concert tickets category, The Jonas Brothers, the latest teen singing sensation, nabbed first place. Coldplay and Hannah Montana scored second and third. Rascal Flatts squeaked in at number 10. In this photo, The Jonas Brothers, Nick Jonas, from left, Joe Jonas and Kevin Jonas perform during halftime of a Thanksgiving NFL football game between te Seattle Seahawks and the Dallas Cowboys, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008, in Irving, Texas.
With all the whispers of underage gymnasts at the Beijing Olympics this year, it's hardly surprising that the most-searched-for Olympics sport this year was gymnastics. Swimming, soccer, tennis and basketball rounded out the top five. In this photo, Cheng Fei of China competes in the gymnastics women's beam final at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games August 19, 2008.
Everyone loves a good rivalry but, on Google, the Red River Shootout between the University of Texas Longhorns and the University of Oklahoma Sooners got the most attention. The "Red River Rivalry" was the No. 1 searched-for rivalry on the popular search engine this year. In this photo, Quarterback Colt McCoy #12 of the Texas Longhorns throws against the Oklahoma Sooners at the Cotton Bowl on October 11, 2008 in Dallas, Texas.
With one of the biggest openings in motion picture history, "Dark Knight" made Batman the most-searched-for superhero on Google this year. Searches for the Batman peaked when the blockbuster opened in July.
Stephanie Meyer's "Breaking Dawn" -- the fourth and final book in the popular "Twilight" series -- was the fastest-rising book searched for on Google this year. And, according to Google, we couldn't get enough of the saga. Meyer's "Twilight" and "New Moon" placed second and fifth, respectively.
International pop singer Chris Brown's "With You" reached the top 10 on Billboard this year, but it also bagged another honor: the lyrics were the most-searched-for lyrics on Google in 2008. Lil Wayne's "My Life" and Sara Bareilles' "Love Song" scored No. 2 and No. 3. In this photo, Chris Brown belts out a song during a concert with Rihanna in suburban Taguig, south of Manila, Philippines on Sunday Nov. 16, 2008.
Intoxicating drinks helped us weather news about a toxic economy. The martini was the most popular cocktail searched for this year, says Google. The mojito and the margarita followed.
"I scream, you scream"... apparently, we all screamed for ice cream this year. It was the No. 1 comfort food searched for on Google this year, followed by chile and spaghetti. Mac 'n' cheese rounded out the top 10 list.
To compile its annual end-of-year zeitgeist report, Google studied an aggregation of billions of search queries that people typed into the Google search box. Fox's "American Idol" was the most-searched-for TV show and the most-searched-for reality show on Google this year. "Lost" and "Saturday Night Live" came in second and third in the overall TV category. "Big Brother" and "Dancing With the Stars" also led the reality show list.