Google Zeitgeist reveals the top searches of 2013

By Rachel Hand topicIcon SEO

How we searched in 2013

Google has revealed the most popular search terms of 2013 in its annual Zeitgeist report.

With over 1,000 top ten lists for 72 countries, as well as an interactive globe mapping out how trends developed over the year, Google claims this is the most 'global' Zeitgeist since its launch in 2001. Among the global trending searches (those which saw the biggest increase compared to last year) were new gadgets, tragic celebrities, YouTube phenomena and world events.

In an official blog post yesterday, Google fellow Amit Singhal commented on the world's most searched-for term:

"It's perhaps unsurprising that the #1 trending search of 2013 was an international symbol of strength and peace: Nelson Mandela. Global search interest in the former President of South Africa was already high this year, and after his passing, people from around the world turned to Google to learn more about Madiba and his legacy."

Comparing top searches

The UK's top trending searches were slightly different to the global ones, while the UK's overall top searches are mainly website names - possibly due to browser address bars and search bars becoming more closely related, perhaps indicating that people find it easier to Google a brand name and click rather than type in a URL.

Global Trending UK Trending UK Overall
Nelson Mandela Paul Walker Facebook
Paul Walker iPhone 5s YouTube
iPhone 5s Royal Baby Google
Cory Monteith Cory Monteith Hotmail
Harlem Shake Oscar Pistorius eBay
Boston Marathon Nelson Mandela BBC News
Royal Baby Grand National 2013 Amazon
Samsung Galaxy S4 Universal Jobmatch Daily Mail
PlayStation 4 Margaret Thatcher Argos
North Korea Xbox One Yahoo

Other UK highlights included Man Of Steel as the most Googled movie, Gareth Bale as the most searched footballer, and "what is twerking?" as the most popular question.

Natalie Booth, head of search at theEword, commented: "The Google Zeitgeist makes for interesting reading every year. In 2013 it's clear what a vital role the search engine plays in people's lives, whether they're looking for breaking world news, products to buy, entertainment or information."