Top Google, Bing, Yahoo! searches of 2012 include Olympics, election and Whitney Houston

CLEVELAND - Gadgets, "Gangnam" and the Games piqued people's interests in 2012 as they sought out more information on the web. But a legendary singer was the most Googled this year.

Google's Zeitgeist project outlines a number of top trending searches in various categories. The top 10 overall trending searches worldwide were:
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

U.S. hot topics were similar with many solely shifted in order:
1. Whitney Houston
2. Hurricane Sandy
3. Election 2012
4. Hunger Games
5. Jeremy Lin
6. Olympics 2012
7. Amanda Todd
8. Gangnam Style
9. Michael Clarke Duncan
10. KONY 2012

Whitney Houston spans the curiosity bounds topping both American and worldwide lists. Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton doesn't make it on the U.S. buzz chart but the emergent NBA sensation who spawned "Linsanity" had Americans Googling.

While Google is the most widely used search engine with more than 900,000 unique monthly visitors, other popular ones released their top searches as well, allowing for a point of comparison.

Bing breaks its top searches of the year down by category. This, for instance, is their list of most searched for news stories of 2012.
1. iPhone 5
2. 2012 Elections
3. 2012 Olympics
4. Hurricane Sandy
5. "Honey Boo Boo"
6. "Gangnam Style"
7. KONY 2012
8. Academy Awards
9. Kindle Fire HD
10. Facebook IPO

Bing said its top searched person of 2012 was Kim Kardashian, swapping spots with 2011's number one Justin Bieber. Whitney Houston does not appear on the most searched people list but was the site's second most searched musician, behind Bieber.

Politics trumped what people were searching for using Yahoo!:
1. Elections
2. iPhone 5
3. Kim Kardashian
4. Kate Upton
5. Kate Middleton
6. Whitney Houston
7. Olympics
8. Political polls
9. Lindsay Lohan
10. Jennifer Lopez

The 2012 election which included the presidential vote, the Summer Olympic Games in London and Houston, who died in February, were common top searches, three of the biggest stories of 2012.

Yahoo users searched for a larger number of celebrities, while Google's reached many realms with big names, hot products and major events.

To see why these terms were such hot topics in 2012 and what people came up with when they searched each site's engine, click the link for each above. 

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