The hottest Google searched shopping brand for the 2011 was of overseas retail brands.

In its second year, Google’s Australian ‘brand zeitgeist’, a list of the hottest advertising campaigns and trends in 2011 revealed that while retailers like Harvey Norman, Woolworths and Coles earned the most searches overall as the top shopping brands, overseas retailers posted the fastest growth.

Overseas brands swept places one to five on this year’s list of fastest rising brand searches; British fashion online retailer ASOS came first with a 250 per cent rise in searches year-over year. Meanwhile, Costco and Zara followed closely behind.

“With online retailers posting strong gains throughout this year, to stay competitive Aussie retailers need to embrace the opportunities the web offers. We know that Aussies trust their local brands and tend to look for them first,” Ross McDonald, Google Australia’s head of retail, says.

According to Google, Brand zeitgeist reveals what clicked with Aussie consumers in 2011 and presents insight for marketing professionals to tailor their campaigns in 2012.