At Google, we are moved by the life and untimely passing of Michael Jackson. As word spread of his death, millions and millions of people from all over the world began searching for information about the pop icon. The following chart shows the meteoric rise in related searches around 3:00pm PDT:

Search volume began to increase around 2:00pm, skyrocketed by 3:00pm, and stabilized by about 8:00pm. As you can see in Google Hot Trends, many of the fastest rising search queries from yesterday and today have been about Michael Jackson's passing (others pertained to the death of another cultural icon, Farrah Fawcett). People who weren't near a computer yesterday turned to their mobile phones to check on breaking news. We saw one of the largest mobile search spikes we've ever seen, with 5 of the top 20 searches about the Moonwalker.

The spike in searches related to Michael Jackson was so big that Google News initially mistook it for an automated attack. As a result, for about 25 minutes yesterday, when some people searched Google News they saw a "We're sorry" page before finding the articles they were looking for.

Michael Jackson led an amazing and controversial life in the public eye. Many of us have a "Michael Jackson story." Mine is that he actually taught me how to moonwalk — thanks to many an hour I spent in front of the television trying to mimic his performances. Regardless of your story or personal opinions about this astounding performer, global interest in the King of Pop is undeniable.