Google's fastest fallers of 2011

Q: What do Nick Clegg, Alexandra Burke and Robert Pattinson all have in common? A: They've all fallen out of favour with internet searchers. Steve Anderson charts the fall of celebs in the e-generation

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The Independent Online

Google’s annual ‘Zeitgeist’ list was released today, revealing the year’s top and fastest rising entries on the eponymous search engine. The Royal Wedding unsurprisingly was the fastest rising search term, while everyday internet staples Facebook, YouTube and Hotmail held the top three places in overall UK searches – making the Zeitgeist live up to its name as ‘the spirit of the times’.

Although the fastest rising people list offers no surprises - with the likes of Ryan Dunn, Amy Winehouse and Steve Jobs all appearing due to their sad demises in 2011 -  it’s the fastest falling people list that makes for the most interesting reading.

Made up of those people whose names have seen the biggest decrease in search volume over the year, we take a look at the list and those who fell from Google grace in 2011.

1. Nick Clegg
To be fair to the deputy PM, his name probably received a spike of search queries last April in wake of the first televised pre-general election debates – presumably prefixed with “who is” – putting him at an instant disadvantage in this year’s list.

2. Maradona
During the 2010 Football World Cup England fans were presumably looking for someone to blame for their appalling performance, and who better to dig some dirt on than old Hand of God himself, especially since the team he was managing seemed to be doing so much better than us.  As for this year then, does this mean web-surfing footie fans are getting over that great injustice of 1986? Not likely.

3. Alicia Keys
As she once sang, “no one, no one, no one…” is ever going to search for you. But seriously, 2011’s ten-year celebration of Songs in Minor failed to make as much of a splash as her marriage to producer Swizz Beatz last year and the subsequent blessing of their unborn child at a Zulu ceremony in South Africa. Hanging out with Bono probably didn’t help too much either.

4. Heidi Montag
“Who?” I hear you ask. A non-celebrity to start with, finding fame on brat pack pseudo-reality show The Hills, the blonde-bombshell’s ‘fame’ seems to have waned in negative correlation with the frequency of her cosmetic surgery procedures and spats with on-off husband Spencer Pratt.

5. Alexandra Burke
When it comes to former X Factor winners (take note Little Miss) people are constantly in need of a reminding who they are, so it’s slightly puzzling as to why Burke features in this list. Perhaps people were afraid that if they typed in her name they might be in danger of having to hear her murder another untouchable song.

6. Hayley Williams
After the pint-sized pop-punk pixie from Paramore had her phone hacked and topless pictures of her were leaked via her Twitter feed in 2010, greasey-fringed emo-kids must have sent searches for her name through the roof. With two members down and no album to their name in 2011, Paramore had a quieter year as their lead singer paid more attention to her professional online presence.

7. Joe McElderry
The second former X Factor winner in the list. After being dropped by Simon Cowell’s record lable SyCo and turning to reality TV in the guise of Popstar to Operastar, Joe looks dangerously like he’s wandering into Steve Brookstein territory.

8. Stephenie Meyer
Before the Twilight Saga was turned into several two-hour sessions of intense silences, lip bighting and heavy breathing (nevermind CGI werewolves), it was actually a series of novels. Not that Google users remember this, as the books’ author – a sort of mormon answer to JK Rowling – has slipped down search rankings, with young Twilighters presumably favouring an image search for Taylor Lautner’s torso.

9. Robert Pattinson
Stephenie Meyer’s demise can’t be put down entirely to the world’s teenagers’ apathy toward the written word though, as the pasty-faced star chosen to play her novels’ hero on the silver screen has also slipped down Google’s most wanted. Maybe it’s got something to do with his ‘interesting’ experiments with facial hair.

10. Shakira
You’d have thought being invited (and subsequently declining) to sing at the birthday party of the widely feared Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov would be enough to keep the Colombian she-wolf’s search queries high. But according to Google’s data, this is not the case – and hits don’t lie.