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Zeitgeist 2013: this is what the world was Googling this year

What do the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Vine, the iPad Air and minions have in common? They’re all among the most searched terms globally in 2013. Yep, Google’s annual Zeitgeist (‘Spirit of the times’) is out, and it provides a pretty interesting look into what the world was googling this year.

The latest iteration of the report is the most comprehensive to date, with more than a thousand top 10 lists across categories like trending people, most-searched for events and top trending searches from 72 countries around the world. There is even an interactive Google Trends globe, which allows you to pick a city and then scroll through a timeline to see what its inhabitants were searching for at a specific point in time.

The list of top 100 global searches is an interesting mix of celebrity names, major world news and gadgets (everything from the Nexus 5 to the HTC One cleared the top 50), but the top ten was reserved for major product launches, a YouTube trend and some high profile deaths.

Most searched for terms globally in 2013

  1. Nelson Mandela
  2. Paul Walker
  3. iPhone 5s
  4. Cory Monteith
  5. Harlem Shake
  6. Boston Marathon
  7. Royal Baby
  8. Samsung Galaxy s4
  9. PlayStation 4
  10. North Korea

Google’s also put together a trends page to break down the information into more manageable bites — such as a list of the most commonly searched TV shows, videos, people, events and athletes. There is even a country-by-country glimpse into the most Googles ‘what is’ topics. Number one globally? Twerking.

Author | Lauren Granger

Lauren Granger
While studying towards her Bachelor of Journalism degree at Rhodes University, Lauren gave into her fascination with everything digital. As she was more interested in creeping tech sites and Twitter than she was in picking up one of those printed things called 'newspapers', she decided to specialise in... More
  • Raleen Ramlutchman

    Search ‘Africa’ when searching

  • Ockert Jaco VentEr

    I found them yesterday but latency is still extremely high 190ms

  • Stefan Bosman

    I played a little death match and had latency of 6ms. Then later in evening no sign of africa servers. I assume they still having issues with the server launch.

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