Google Zeitgeist: 2013 in Searches, Trends and Images

By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2013-12-19 Email Print this article Print

Google plays witness to our individual key taps, answers our questions, connects us to others and feeds us the news. In its year-end Zeitgeist list, it adds up all the above and offers lists of what the world was most interested in and searched for most, including the top trending searches from 72 countries and the most searched for people and events. "Every day, around the world, we search," Amit Singhal, senior vice president and Google Fellow, wrote in a Dec. 17 blog post. "We want to find out more about our heroes, explore far-away destinations or settle a dinner-table dispute between friends." The world can feel good about the fact that the number-one global trending topic of 2013 was Nelson Mandela, who, even before his passing, had people curious to learn more about him, Singhal wrote. (Better left to the fine print of 2013 is that the top "what is ..." search was for "twerking.") The tech world is sure to note that the iPhone 5 was the third top trend of 2013—while the Samsung Galaxy S 4 was the eighth. We've highlighted some other key findings from the more than 1,000 top 10 lists Google created to represent the closing year.

  • Google Zeitgeist: 2013 in Searches, Trends and Images

    by Michelle Maisto
    1 - Google Zeitgeist: 2013 in Searches, Trends and Images
  • Top 10 Trending Items of 2013

    The top 10 trending news items of 2013 ran from celebrations to tragedies, with a touch of silliness in between. They were Nelson Mandela, Paul Walker, iPhone 5S, Cory Monteith, Harlem Shake, Boston Marathon, Royal Baby, Samsung Galaxy S4, PlayStation 4 and North Korea. (Image: Flickr, user BK)
    2 - Top 10 Trending Items of 2013
  • 10 Most Searched For People

    In the United Sates, seven of the 10 most searched for people were women. Miley Cyrus twerked her way to the number-one spot, followed by Canadian rapper Drake, Kim Kardashian, Justin Bieber, Beyonce, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Katy Perry and Kanye West. (Image: RCA Records)
    3 - 10 Most Searched For People
  • Top 10 Trending Events, Globally

    The Boston Marathon was the top-trending event of 2013. It was followed by Typhoon Haiyan, the Government Shutdown, the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Chinese New Year, the Australian Open, the Eurovision Song Contest, Wimbledon, the Syrian conflict, and EuroBasket, a biennial basketball competition in Europe. (Image: Flickr, NASA Goddard)
    4 - Top 10 Trending Events, Globally
  • What Americans Wanted to Know

    In the United States, we searched for the calories in eggs more than any other item (beer was third); searched for Kohl's, above all other retailers; and concerned ourselves with the pregnancy of Kim Kardashian and the breakup of Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth, above all others. (Image: Flickr, Daniel Almond-Farrant)
    5 - What Americans Wanted to Know
  • Dance Moves

    Amazingly, people are still interested in the YMCA, which ranked fifth on the most trending Dance Moves list. Gangnam Style was first, followed by The Cat Daddy, The Dougie (a favorite of the First Lady) and the Wobble. (Image: Flickr, Chris Gamboa)
    6 - Dance Moves
  • Most Searched For Phones in India

    In India, a market ripe with smartphone growth potential, the most searched for phones were the Samsung Galaxy S 4, the Nokia Lumia 520, the Micromax Canvas 2, the Samsung Galaxy Grand, the Micromax Canvas, the Sony Xperia Z, the Nokia Lumia, the MicroMax Canvas 4, the Nexus 4 and the Samsung Galaxy S 3.
    7 - Most Searched For Phones in India
  • Brazil and Gadgets

    In Brazil, another market the wireless industry has its eye on, the 10 most searched for gadgets were the iPhone 5S, the Samsung Galaxy S 4, the PS4, the Samsung Galaxy S 3, the Xbox One, the Motorola Razr D3, the Moto X, Sony Xperia, iPhone 6 and the Nokia Lumia 520.
    8 - Brazil and Gadgets
  • Global Entertainment

    Around the world, the top trending movie was "Man of Steel," Stephen King's "Under the Dome" was the top-trending TV show, the top-trending video was Ylvis' "The Fox" and the top-trending athlete was Oscar Pistorius, though likely not for his athletic feats. (Image: Warner Bros.)
    9 - Global Entertainment
  • Top 10 Google+ Hashtags

    The top hastags list suggests 2013 was an intense year punctuated by levity and distraction: #Boston, #BreakingBad, #TyphoonHaiyan, #MileyCyrus, #Pope, #Mandela, #SFBatKid, #MarriageEquality and #GovernmentShutdown. (Image: Flickr, Vincent Huang)
    10 - Top 10 Google+ Hashtags
  • What We Learned to Do

    There's nothing Google can't help you to learn about. In 2013, the things the most of us tried to figure out were How to ... Tie a Tie, File, Get a Passport, Blog, Knit, Kiss, Flirt, Whistle, Unjailbreak and Vader. The latter, if you were among those who searched it, is a BMX bike trick. (Image: Flickr, Jayneandd)
    11 - What We Learned to Do

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