Kate's misfortune magnified by search surge
One event has dominated the UK's search activity more than any other this month, as data from Google Trends reveals. Kate Middleton has proved by far the most popular search topic across the country, for reasons which should be obvious by now.
It seems the nation's moral outrage at the topless photos taken of the Duchess of Cambridge during a holiday in France did not stop many from heading online for a sneaky peek, with three of the top four September searches related to the scandal.
Unsurprisingly, this also figured prominently in image and news searches, with magazines across the continent displaying the pictures both online and in print despite vociferous royal protest. As you would expect, the affair was by no means limited to the UK, with 'Kate Middleton' the third most popular search term worldwide.
Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman features at number three in the UK, as fans flocked to check the accuracy of stories regarding the star's rumoured demise. It transpired that the screen icon was the latest victim of a social media hoax, but the false story was persuasive enough for many to feel the need to clarify matters.
Gadgets and games
The huge demand for the newly-released iPhone 5 is reflected in UK search terms, as it is the most Googled product of the month. It is also the fourth most requested image, while other searches include 'iOS6' and 'Apple'.
Football game FIFA 13 is also among the top searches, and indeed is the sixth biggest search term in the UK. Interestingly, more people searched for 'FIFA 13 PS3' than 'FIFA 13 Xbox'. Other popular games include Borderlands 2 and Guild Wars 2, which both figure in the top ten most searched-for products.
The Paralympics captured the hearts of the nation as it dominated the headlines during the first few days of the month. The games feature at number seven in the UK rankings, with broadcaster Channel 4 in at number nine. Had the event taken up more than a third of the month, it may well have placed higher, but it was subsequently eclipsed by other matters. None of the gold medal winning athletes feature in the top ten.
One sportsman who did enjoy some search volume is Andy Murray, whose US Open triumph ensured a high number of searches in Scotland. Fans in his home country were clearly keeping an eye on the tennis star's progress, with 'US Open' the fourth highest Scottish search term and 'Andy Murray' eighth.
Many of the topics that attracted British interest were also searched for worldwide. Along with Kate Middleton, Morgan Freeman and the iPhone also ranked among the top ten world Google searches.
However, the most Googled term in the world did not even make the UK top ten. Oscar nominated actor Michael Clarke Duncan, famous for films such as The Green Mile and Daredevil, topped the world rankings after his shock death from a heart attack at the age of 54.
K-Pop track Gangnam Style has conquered the UK charts too late to figure highly in September's search rankings, but thanks to the viral video created by artist Psy it has become the fifth highest search term worldwide. The NFL is also on the world list at number eight, an appearance which can perhaps be put down to the highly controversial recent match between Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers.
As the month draws to a close, there is still time for other events such as golf's Ryder Cup to muscle their way onto the list, while the world search rankings for products reveals that many are already looking ahead to Halloween.