2013 in Search: Heroes, tragedies and the Harlem Shake

2013 in Search: Heroes, tragedies and the Harlem Shake

Posted: Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Every day, around the world, we search. We want to find out more about our heroes, explore far-away destinations, or settle a dinner table dispute between friends. And sometimes we just search to find out how many calories are in an avocado.

In our annual Year-End Zeitgeist (“spirit of the times”), we reflect on the people, places, and moments that captured the world’s attention throughout the year. This year marks our most global Zeitgeist to date—with 1,000+ top 10 lists across categories like Trending People, Most-Searched Events and Top Trending Searches from 72 countries.

As we get ready to turn the page to 2014, we invite you to take a global journey through the biggest moments from the past 12 months in our Year in Review video:

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.

Tragedies like the Boston Marathon, the 6th trending term globally, and Typhoon Haiyan, #2 on our global events list, also captured the world’s attention. And our human desire to help came through, with [donate to the Philippines] ranking highly around the world.

2013 also had moments that made us move. People uploaded more than 1.7 million video versions of the Harlem Shake to YouTube, propelling it to the #5 spot on our global list; it was also the second most trending video on YouTube. And unashamedly, we all wanted to learn about twerking, which topped this year’s "what is…" list of search terms (although I’m still not sure I understand that one!).

Here’s a full look at our top 10 global trending searches of 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

You can also explore more global trends this year—directly from our Zeitgeist homepage. Check out the top 100 trending searches of 2013, and simply click one to dig deeper on Google Trends. Or if you’d rather be nostalgic, you can take a look back at each year’s Zeitgeist from 2001 on.

Finally, we’ve made an interactive 3D global map showcasing the top search trends of 2013 by day in cities around the world. You can easily spin the globe, select a city and explore the topics that brought people to search on any day of the year—from local sports games to international news stories.

As I reflect on the year behind us, I’m excited about what’s to come in the year ahead. What will you be searching for?

Posted by +Amit Singhal, Senior Vice President and Google Fellow

Must Have AddOn for Firefox: Lightbeam

lightbeam

Install this into Mozilla Firefox if you are using it in the lab.  Read their note below.

As revelations about government surveillance continue to stun people around the world, I’m reminded of why I joined Mozilla three years ago as privacy and public policy lead.

In the midst of massive investments in tracking and mining of user data, here was a group of people fiercely committed to making individual control part of the Web. Today, Mozilla is still proudly non-profit, and we still believe privacy and security are fundamental principles of the Internet that cannot be ignored.

But we don’t just talk a good game, we build the tools that make a difference. And because you are a Mozilla supporter, I want you to be among the first to know about our latest free tool called Lightbeam for Firefox.

We built Lightbeam to shine a spotlight on online data tracking to help people understand the Web. After you download and install the Lightbeam add-on to Firefox, it creates a real-time visualization of the websites you visit and all the third parties active on those sites. As you browse from site to site you can watch the visualization grow. You can also share your Lightbeam data with Mozilla and better inform a global dialog on the prevalence of tracking.

We build tools like Lightbeam because we believe that everyone should understand and be in control of their user data and privacy. Privacy is what lets us trust that our laptops — and phones, apps and services — are truly ours and not working against us.

Like you, I believe that the Web and our privacy and security are worth fighting for. I joined Mozilla because I wanted to be a part of a community of people working to build the Web we need — and fighting to protect the Web we love. Join the fight! Together we can collectively pull back the curtains on the Web and shine a light on how we’re being tracked online.

Infographic: Visual and UX Design Trends for 2013

It’s always best practice for web and graphic designers to stay with the current trends, otherwise you will more than likely be surpassed by other designers who are with the trends. Some of the biggest trends right now are simplicity, flat colors, SVG images (scale-able vectors for browsers), typography, and responsive design to name a few. Awwwards has put together a nice Infographic to show what the design trends are for 2013 below.

visual-ux-design-trends-2013