BitTorrent Zeitgeist: What People Searched for in 2012

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Each and every day hundreds of millions of people scour their favorite BitTorrent search engines for content to download. But what are all these people looking for? Today we present the BitTorrent Zeitgeist 2012, a list of the 50 most searched for phrases and keywords on one of the most-used public BitTorrent indexes during the past year.

During December, all self-respecting search engines produce an overview of the most popular search terms of the past year.

These lists give insight into people’s interests over the preceding 12 months. On Google, for example, in 2012 “What is SOPA” was the most asked question typed into Google in both the U.S. and Australia.

But what about BitTorrent? With billions of searches every year it’s worth taking a look at the most-entered keywords on the dominant file-sharing network.

Unfortunately there is no central database of searches available, but, one of the top 3 torrent sites in terms of visitors, was kind enough to share the most popular search terms of 2012 with us. This list is based on millions of searches and gives an indication of what people were looking for on BitTorrent during the last 12 months.

Topping the lists this year is the TV-show The Walking Dead, followed by the more general keywords 2012 and French. The latter two are used to find recent content and French language releases respectively.

The top 10 further contains six movie related searches including Ted, Taken 2, The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises. Besides movie titles the top 50 also contains other video related searches such as DVDrip, 720p, 3D and Movies.

Traditionally, TV-shows are much sought after on BitTorrent as well, and it’s no different this year. After The Walking Dead, Homeland is the most popular TV-related search phrase in 12th place, followed by Game of Thrones and Sons of Anarchy further down the list.

Besides movies and TV-shows the list is completed with a few unavoidable adult related searches, and the relatively rare software and game related keywords such as Windows 8, PSP and Android.

Perhaps most surprising of all, music isn’t all that popular on public BitTorrent indexes, as we find no music related terms in the top 50 at all.

Ita, a term used to find Italian content, dropped from first place last year to 31st this year. This is not really surprising as Italian ISPs were ordered to block access to the site in May.

Below is the full list of the 50 most-entered search phrases on This list will be different on other public BitTorrent sites, but we assume that the top searches will be popular on other indexes as well.

1. the walking dead
2. 2012
3. french
4. ted
5. dexter
6. batman
7. taken 2
8. the dark knight rises
9. the avengers
10. brave
11. skyfall
12. homeland
13. game of thrones
14. 720p
15. the hunger games
16. dvdrip
17. 1080p
18. windows 8
19. prometheus
20. sons of anarchy
21. 3d
22. the amazing spiderman
23. looper
24. arrow
25. revenge
26. yify
27. twilight
28. battleship
29. total recall
30. glee
31. ita
32. movies
33. psp
34. supernatural
35. resident evil
36. x art
37. windows 7
38. magic mike
39. telugu
40. android
41. fringe
42. minecraft
43. once upon a time
44. harry potter
45. madagascar 3
46. wwe
47. breaking bad
48. family guy
49. american horror story
50. 2011


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