Hunt for bargains tops list of internet trends

FORGET THE euro zone crisis, the election, sneaky budget cuts or other potentially life-changing developments: the citizens of…

FORGET THE euro zone crisis, the election, sneaky budget cuts or other potentially life-changing developments: the citizens of Ireland were far more interested in nabbing a good deal this year.

That’s if the fastest-growing search terms on Google for 2011 are anything to go by.

Google’s Zeitgeist, an annual analysis of the billions of searches carried out on the search engine in Ireland, shows that DoneDeal topped the list for the fastest-rising searches in 2011.

The classified ads website is run by Wexford-based husband and wife team, Fred and Geraldine Karlsson. Launched in 2005, it is now the number one place to buy and sell things in Ireland online, according to data compiled by Google Trends.


Following DoneDeal was a highly anticipated gadget which, in the end, wasn’t even launched: Apple’s iPhone 5. Instead, the computer giant launched the iPhone 4S, a faster and more powerful upgrade of its best-selling phone.

While Ireland might not have gone as far as we hoped in the competition, the Rugby World Cup was the third fastest-growing search term, followed by Saorview, Ireland’s first free digital television service.

Another major preoccupation of our online netizens in 2011 was the royal wedding. Or, to be more precise, Pippa Middleton.

Kate Middleton’s sister became an overnight global sensation after the wedding and was the fifth fastest-rising search term in 2011. She also topped the poll of fastest-rising searches for people. In addition, Kate was the fifth most searched-for person.

Welsh glamour model and TV presenter Imogen Thomas was second, followed by English singer Jessie J and Apple’s Steve Jobs.

As unemployment continued to swell, many may have expected the fastest rising “how to . . .?” search term might relate to getting a visa or a job. Not a bit of it. Instead, the fastest-growing search term of this type was “how to shuffle”.

Concerns such as “how to study”, and “how to reference” came second and third.

One of the biggest sources of curiosity during the year was Harry Potter. The fastest rising “what is . . .?” search was for “Pottermore”, the website launched by author JK Rowling.

Searches: Top Terms

1 DoneDeal

2 iPhone 5

3 Rugby World Cup

4 Saorview

5 Pippa Middleton

Fastest Rising Person

Pippa Middleton

How to...


What is...


Song lyrics



Kim Kardashian


GAA fixtures 2011

Carl O'Brien

Carl O'Brien

Carl O'Brien is Education Editor of The Irish Times. He was previously chief reporter and social affairs correspondent