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From ‘how to be kinder’ to ‘how to cheat a polygraph:’ top Google searches by country

Google Chrome, Google Inc.'s Web browser, is shown during a news conference at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2008.

Paul Sakuma/AP

Always thought France was the world capital of all things amour? Turns out that the French are searching the Internet for tips on kissing.

Assumed Italians are naturally skilled in the art of love? Well, they're turning to Google for sex pointers.

People the world over searched for Whitney Houston, Gangnam Style and the Olympics.

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These, and other revealing nuggets, are contained in Google's top 2012 searches released Wednesday. Think of them as a glimpse into the world's psyche.

Among the top Google searches by country:

  • Kenyans searched for “how to abort”.
  • Israelis looked up “how to get sick notes”.
  • In addition to tracking down sex pointers, Italians searched “how to make an enema”.
  • In Peru, Kurt Cobain, who has been dead for 18 years, was the third-most searched person, likely due to the appearance on a national musical competition show of a guitarist with a near-perfect imitation of his voice.
  • In the Philippines, the top three overall searches were for computer games.
  • Poles turned to Google for shady topics, including “how to cheat a polygraph”

  • Russians looked up “how to be kinder”.

Google's Zeitgeist report categorizes queries by two metrics: "most searched" and "trending," which it defines as searches with the highest traffic over a sustained period of time this year compared to 2011.

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