2013 Google Zeitgeist

From controversy at Toronto’s City Hall to “sourtoe cocktails,” “twerking” and the Harlem Shake, the Google Zeitgeist, is the purest exploration of what is popular. By tracking our searches, Google knows exactly what is on our mind. Here’s a uniquely Canadian perspective on the year’s major events and hottest trends based on top Google searches in Canada from the 2013 Google Zeitgeist.

Zeitgeist — German for “spirit of the times” — is Google’s 13th annual analysis of the more than one trillion searches performed globally throughout the year. The Canadian results include everything from top trending Canadians – ranked in order by volume of searches – to the top searches across pop culture, sports, music, politics, news, and more.

The highlights:
· Looking at Top 10 Trending Canadians, in 2013 we were star-struck by Commander Chris Hadfield (my post about his twitter chat with William Shatner was the most viewed post at cyberbuzz.com) and celebrated the amazing achievements of author and Nobel laureate, Alice Munro. Rounding up this list is actor Alan Thicke, whose commentary on his musician son’s shenanigans with Miley, certainly contributed to his popularity.

· Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, the untimely passing of Glee star and Calgary-native Cory Monteith and the celebration of Nelson Mandela’s life captured Canadians’ attention, as did the news of the Royal Baby’s arrival across the pond.

· Newly-elected federal Liberal party leader Justin Trudeau was the Top Searched Federal Politician for the first time in 2013, reaching an all time high during the Liberal Party Leadership Convention in April.

· If there’s one thing Top Trending Canadian Sports Teams indicate, it’s that hockey is back! The Toronto Maple Leafs came in at number one on, closely followed by the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators.

· This year’s entertainment trend was epic. Sci-fi blockbusters Gravity, the Hunger Games sequel and Pacific Rim all cracked the Top Searched Movies list in Canada.

· Vince Gilligan’s Breaking Bad took Canadians by storm as evident by the series’ #1 placement on Top Trending TV Shows.

· The most popular recipe in Canada this year? The healthy pasta alternative, Spaghetti Squash! Yum.

· The “Sourtoe” topped this year’s most searched cocktails among Canadians. The concoction, born in Dawson City, Yukon, contains a real human toe and received a resurgence in online interest in August when the toe was accidentally swallowed.

· “Twerk” got an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary this year, so it’s hardly surprising that “what is twerking” and “how to twerk” topped Canada’s What Is and How To lists in 2013.

To check out the complete Canadian lists, visit google.ca/zeitgeist. Follow the conversation online with #zeitgeist2013 and watch the year in review.

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