Services & Software

Nelson Mandela tops Google's 2013 searches

What other people, products, and events made it onto the search giant's year-end zeitgeist?


Google's top ten global searches for the year marked moments of sadness but of course took time out for the usual buzz about tech products.

Topping Google's zeitgeist, aka "spirit of the times" for 2013, was the late Nelson Mandela. The former South African president was already high on the list of searches among Google users, but his passing on December 5 triggered a surge in interest about his life, according to Google.

Actors Paul Walker and Cory Monteith, were No. 2 and No. 4 on the list, respectively. Walker, famous for his role in "The Fast and the Furious" films, and Monteith, most recently known for his part on the "Glee" TV series, affected fans with their untimely deaths this year.

At No. 6, the Boston Marathon bombing in April was another tragedy that drove people to Google's search engine. At No. 10, North Korea earned a spot on Google's list in light of the sabre-rattling of leader Kim Jong Un. Dance craze the Harlem Shake shook up the ranks at No. 5, while the birth of the royal baby earned the No. 7 spot.

Curiosity about new tech products also earned spots on the annual zeitgeist. Apple's iPhone 5S was at No. 3, and Samsung's Galaxy S4 came in at No. 8. Sony's PlayStation 4 took the No. 9 spot, probably to Microsoft's chagrin since the Xbox One failed to crack the top ten.