From Miley Cyrus to Nelson Mandela, it was another record year for Google. Every year, Google releases what they call the "Google Zeitgeist"; basically, a look back at what the world was search for. Because there are so many millions and millions of searches, they divide this list into a wide variety of categories, from News to Celebrity to Video Games and more. In this article, we'll take a look at the highlights to see what the world was searching for in 2013.
1. Top Trending Searches
Topping the list for Top Trending Searches (search topics with the largest increase in search volume since the previous period) overall was Paul Walker whose untimely death in a car crash shocked fans worldwide. Following this was another tragedy, the Boston Marathon bombing, which shocked the world, and the death of Nelson Mandela, respected worldwide for his work to end apartheid. Other searches included Cory Monteith, iPhone 5s, the government shutdown, James Gandolfini, the Harlem shake, the royal baby, and Adrian Peterson.
2. Top Searched For Events
Events such as the Boston Marathon bombing, the U.S. government shutdown, and the Moore, Oklahoma tornado topped the list for most searched-for events in Google for 2013. Also included in this list: the VMAs, the royal baby, the Zimmerman trial, Typhoon Haiyan, the new pope, the Syria conflict, and Mayweather vs. Canelo.
3. Top Searched For People
Controversy ruled in 2013 for Google's list of the most searched for people. Topping the list was Miley Cyrus, who definitely is past her Hannah Montana days, followed by Drake and perpetually famous (or infamous, depending on how you look at it) Kim Kardashian. Teen sensation Justin Bieber followed close behind, then Beyonce, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Katy Perry, and Kanye West.
4. Top Movie Searches
2013 was a great year for movies, with heroes and sci-fi taking the top three spots. Superman:The Man of Steel topped the list, followed closely by Iron Man 3 and World War Z. The Steve Jobs biopic, aptly titled "Jobs", made an appearance, along with The Conjuring, The Great Gatsby, Despicable Me 2, The Purge, Pacific Rim, and Mama.
5. Top Lifestyle Searches
Many lists make up the composite of top lifestyle searches in Google for 2013, including appetizers (tomato mozzarella, shrimp, and butternut squash), beer (Blue Moon, Bud Light, and Kingfisher), dating sites (Match.com, Chemistry.com, and PlentyOfFish), and diets (Paleo, Juice Cleanse, and Mediterranean).
6. Top Searched For Blogs
Blogs were more popular than even in 2013, with two gadget/technology-focused blogs, Engadget and Gizmodo, topping the list, followed closely by gossip personality Perez Hilton. After these three were realitysteve.com, Lifehacker, Cupcakes and Cashmere, I Can Has Cheezburger, The Sartorialist, The Daily Beast, and Atlantic-Pacific.
7. Top Searched For Books
No shortage of book searches on this year's list of top searches; in fact, 2013 saw a mighty surge of renewed interest in reading the written word due largely in part to the fantastic books on the top ten list. These included "Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead", "The Great Gatsby", "Divergent", and "The Fault in our Stars".
8. Top Searched For Athletes
The lives of sports personalities are always on display, and the top athlete searches of 2013 definitely reflect that; both for good and for bad (unfortunately, this year, mostly for bad). First on the list was Aaron Hernandez, followed by Adrian Peterson, Kevin Ware, Jason Collins, and Oscar Pistorius.
9. Top "How To" Searches
How many of us have typed "how to..." into Google? The top ten searches in this category reflect many searches that all of us have probably tried at one time or another. Topping the list was "how to tie a tie", followed by "how to file", "how to get a passport", "how to blog", "how to knit", and the perpetual "how to kiss".
10. Top Google Doodles
Google doodles - the whimsical drawings on the Google.com home page that celebrate a birthday, historical event, or another important happening - continue to rise in popularity, actually making it into the top searches for Google this year. Topping the list was Claude Debussy's 151st birthday, followed by the 50th anniversay of Doctor Who, the winner of the Doodle 4 Google contest, and Google's 15th birthday.