Google published their 2008 Year-End Zeitgeist yesterday, ranking the top 10 fastest rising search terms worldwide, drawing information from 30 countries around the world. Sarah Palin came out on top worldwide while Obama headed up the top 10 fastest rising searches in the U.S. Even more exciting to social media gurus and important to note for brands who are still hesitant to develop a social networking presence is Facebook's #2 spot in the U.S. and #3 spot worldwide (beaten out by the olympics with "beijing 2008" at #2).
MySpace is entirely absent from both lists, but another 3 social networks outside the U.S. made the global top 10: Tuenti (based in Madrid), Nasza Klasa (Poland), and wer kennt wen (Germany). Regardless of what this may say about Facebook versus MySpace, the overarching point is clear: social media is everywhere and STILL expanding. Of all the global top 10, these 4 social networks are the only websites on the list; these are the sites on which people are spending the majority of their time on the web! So there's absolutely no reason to despair just because your brand or product didn't make the top 10, whether globally or at home - in fact, if you're already on Facebook you should be celebrating! With Facebook pages now contributing to SEO, if you're on Facebook, you share the victory!