The spring nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton earned the fastest-rising number of Google searches last year. "Royal wedding" beat "iPhone 5" in the internet giant's annual survey of the most inquired about new terms.
The Duchess of Cambridge was also one of the most Googled celebrities in 2011 although she finished behind Adele, whose album 21 has dominated the pop world this year. The British singer made it into second place in a category for the fastest-rising people, behind Ryan Dunn, the star of the American TV show Jackass, who died aged 34 when his sports car crashed.
Other terms rapidly gaining a grip on the nation's keyboards included Groupon. The online discounter along with the royal wedding and Adele were declared the official Google Zeitgeist for 2011 - an accolade designed to show what has really been engaging the minds of people in the UK over the past 12 months. Facebook was the most searched overall term.
The results are based on the billions of searches made each year by Google users excluding those connected to pornography or other adult material.
A spokesperson for the company said the survey revealed how people used the search engine to, "satisfy their appetite for celebrity pictures and salacious gossip".
But it also showed that people turn to the internet to learn about loftier matters such as the alternative-vote system. In a list of "what is" inquiries, AV - the subject of a referendum this year - came first, beating burning questions such as "what is scampi?" "what are truffles?" and "what are piles?". The top "how to inquiry" was revise - ahead of snog, wallpaper and sleep.
The most popular celebrity for 2011 was Kim Kardashian, the 31-year-old American reality TV star who was married to the basketball player Kris Humphries for 72 days.
- The Independent