You know the year is coming to an end when we start to get the summaries of the most searched terms on the internet.

Google often get the big headlines, but this year Yahoo7 have beat them to the punch so I thought I’d bring you the Yahoo7 year in search.

They’ve listed for us the most popular searches and the monthly trends – it’s quite interesting to look back on the year and reflect.  What a busy year it’s been!

Year in Review – Most Popular Searches of 2011:

1. Queensland Disasters

· 2011 was kicked off with the floods that devastated Brisbane and much of Queensland, only to be followed by Cyclone Yasi striking the north of the beleaguered state.

2. The Royal Wedding

· The wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William was of heavy interest, but both the couple and the event were outshone by Kate’s sister, Pippa Middleton, who showed herself to be of rather more interest to the viewing public.

3. Christchurch Earthquakes

· Continuing the natural disasters of 2011, our neighbour New Zealand suffered horrendous damage to the city of Christchurch, a city already weakened by a quake late in the previous year, and in total 181 people lost their lives.

4. Scarlett Johansson

· Always a popular search, Scarlett Johansson bursts into the top searches this year with her divorce from actor Ryan Reynolds and cements her position with the hacking scandal that saw leaked nude photos of the actor hit the internet.

5. Japanese Tsunami

· Australia was horrified when in March, Japan was struck first by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, its worst in recorded history, and shortly thereafter a powerfully destructive tsunami. The aftermath saw millions without water and electricity and worse still damaged the Fukushima nuclear power plant, which remains a concern to this very day.

6. Christina Hendricks

· This full figured star of Mad Men was nominated for an Emmy in 2011, and while she did not win the award her famous curves and blazing red hair continues to prove extremely popular with both men and women.

7. Football

· Loyalties were declared in 2011 with the codes of football popular along state lines; in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia we saw the AFL solidly trending, whilst the north saw the NRL the favourite in New South Wales and Queensland. Overall, of course, the Rugby World Cup was trending nationwide as we followed the Wallabies in their quest for Cup glory.

8. Amy Winehouse

· The saga of this British singer-songwriter came to a tragic end in 2011 when, barely more than a month after being booed off stage during her European tour for being too inebriated to perform, she passed away from alcohol poisoning.

9. Planking

· One of the odder internet fads to arise – and ultimately fall – in 2011 was the craze known as ‘Planking’. An activity that amounted to little more than lying across objects or structures and then having a photo taken, it swept across the world to condemnation from some parents and school groups, a concern that was only heightened following the reported death of a Queensland man who was alleged to be planking at the time. Spin offs have arisen, with increasingly ludicrous names such as ‘teapotting’, ‘owling’ and ‘Batmanning’, but none have managed to capture interest as planking did at its height.

10. London Riots

· An event that seemed to explode across the United Kingdom, what began as a peaceful protest in response to a fatal shooting soon devolved into violence, rioting and looting that appeared to be motivated by restlessness and greed than out of protest. Whilst the event seems to have passed into memory, whether there are any long term repercussions for the United Kingdom and London in particular remains to be seen.

Monthly Trends for 2011:

The terrible tragedies in Queensland dominated search in the first month of the year with people seeking news and updates on the floods and Cyclone Yasi. These natural disasters knocked The Australian Open from its usual top spot on the search rankings.

Whilst Cyclone Yasi continued to be the most searched topic in February, attention quickly turned to the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that ravaged the New Zealand city of Christchurch and surrounds.

Keeping with the theme of natural disasters that seemed to occupy the first quarter of 2011, the Japanese earthquake and resulting tsunami quickly escalated to the most searched about term in March, surpassing Charlie Sheen.

While the Royal Wedding and Kate Middleton chalked up significant search traffic in April, it was Pippa Middleton who stole the limelight as the most searched about topic of the month.

Pippa Middleton continued to dominate search in May following the Royal Wedding with people searching all manner of things about her, including her dress, her relationship status and pictures of her. Second only to Pippa was the Internet craze of Planking which skyrocketed to second place in May’s search rankings, accompanied by a buzz of social media chatter and related mainstream news reports.

This month saw Kim Duthie (a.k.a ‘The St Kilda Schoolgirl’) steal first place in the search race as the controversy around her allegations against AFL players manager Ricky Nixon came to a fiery crescendo.

Australians got clucky in July 2011 with the arrival of Miranda Kerr’s new baby. The Australian born model was the most searched about topic of the month followed closely by the always popular Tour de France event.

Our attention turned to the United Kingdom this month as we mourned the passing of troubled songstress Amy Winehouse, her death being the most searched topic of August. The London riots also drew significant search traffic making it the second most searched about topic of the month.

Aussies returned home and to their first love of sport in September with the Rugby World Cup taking line honours as the most searched about topic. The US Open placed a respectable second in the search rankings.

The race that stops the nation in November topped search results in the month of October with Aussies searching for information on the field, jockeys, trainers, tips and odds. The release of the iPhone 4S rated second in search results for the month.

The break-up of Kim Kardashian’s marriage with Kris Humphries ensured that the celebrity famous for being famous took out the search top spot in November. Coincidentally, her no-show at the Emirates Stakes Day and quick exit from the country ranked higher than only one other topic of the month – the Melbourne Cup itself.