Google users search for news of L.A.'s "Carmageddon"

Google users were searching for the predicted Armageddon of car travel on Los Angeles - "carmageddon" - and news of Playboy creator Hugh Hefner's appearance on an American TV show.

The scheduled closure of part of Californian highway Interstate 405 over July 16-17 was predicted by many to cause an enormous traffic jam - nicknamed "carmageddon" by the media. 

Due to the hype surrounding the scheduled maintenance and closure of the highway, searches for the term "carmageddon" increased by 1,300 percent - making it the search term with the second largest increase in growth over the past seven days.

However, despite the warnings, the contractors working on the highway finished 17 hours ahead of schedule and the enormous traffic jam predicted failed to materialize.

The name of Playboy creator Hugh Hefner was the search term with the largest increase over the past seven days. Searches for the millionaire magazine publisher are most likely related to his July 15 appearance on American TV show Piers Morgan Tonight. Talking to host Piers Morgan, Hefner revealed his feelings about his recent split with fiancée Crystal Harris and introduced his two new girlfriends - 25-year-olds Anna Sophia Berglund and Shera Bechard.

Other popular search terms over the past seven days included golf tournament The British Open, which runs July 15-22, actress Mila Kunis, who recently agreed to go on a date proposed via video by a member of the Marines, and the magical franchise Harry Potter.  

The search terms with the most significant growth worldwide in the last seven days, as  measured by Google Insights and recorded at 9:15am GMT July 18, were:  

01. hugh hefner (+4,400%)
02. carmageddon (+1,300%)
03. british open (+1,000%)
04. mila kunis (+250%)
05. harry potter (+120%)
06. hope solo (+110%)
07. womens world cup (+80%)
08. movie2K (+60%)
09. google + (+40%)