We all saw the Google Zeitgeist of 2006 year end search terms, and some people thought they were, well, a bit odd, with things like bebo being in #1 position. In a clarification Official Google Blog: How we came up with year-end Zeitgeist data it turns out that things are not that straight forward after all.
Google didn't just give us a list of the most frequently searched terms for the year, because that would have been full of words like ebay and dictionary and other things that people search for on a regular basis. So instead they looked at words that were much more popular in 2006 than they were in 2005, and then chose the ones that they thought were interesting. They've also edited their 2006 Zeitgeist description to clarify what they mean by 'most popular' and 'fastest-gaining' because of 'confusion'.
Perhaps if Google had be more straightforward in the first instance and given us a list of what really are the 'most popular' terms, instead of faffing around trying to look interesting it wouldn't have been necessary. As a result the list that they supplied is pretty much meaningless, and who is to say that the version released in 2005 is actually any better. So thanks for that Google - I'll be sure to use Yahoo or Ask next time around; I might be able to trust them a little more.