Washington (CNN) - As Nikki Haley shot up the GOP ranks in 2010 on her way to capturing the South Carolina governorship, she was also among the most Googled political figures of the year.
And according to a new Google analysis of billions of terms pumped into the popular search engine, it turns out that Haley was actually the "fastest rising" political figure searched for on Google in 2010.
In other words, among all the political fresh faces and new names that were Googled in the United States in 2010, "Nikki Haley" was the search term that spiked the most from last year to this year.
Her newfound online fame was almost certainly a result of the infamous primary battle she survived this summer on the way to victory in November, a four-way GOP slugfest marred by racial slurs, unproven allegations of infidelity and whispers about her religion.
Haley is also a compelling figure in her own right: the first woman to ever win the South Carolina governorship, an Indian-American and a self-styled outsider who rode a Tea Party-wave through Election Day.
The top five "fastest rising" politicos Googled this year were, like Haley, all Republicans new to the national stage.
Second on the list was former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, who unsuccessfully sought the governor's mansion in California. She was followed by Sen. Scott Brown, who won a major GOP upset in Democratic-leaning Massachusetts in January.
Rounding out the top five: Kentucky Sen.-elect Rand Paul and Florida Sen.-elect Marco Rubio.
The data was published Thursday as part of Google's "Zeitgeist 2010" project, described by a Google spokeswoman as "a revealing look back at what caught America's interest in 2010."