Your year in 2013 can be summed up like this: death, destruction, and royal babies.
That's according to data released this morning by Google, which revealed the top trending searches in America in 2013 as part of its annual year-end "zeitgeist." The report, which is now in its 14th year, looks at Google's enormous search data to determine who and what mattered to its users in the year prior to the report's publication. (Says a spokesperson: “from the most trending celebrities, to the hottest gizmos and gadgets, to the topics and people that sparked interest, our year-end zeitgeist is a look back at the year through the lens of Google search, now in over 70 countries around the world.”)
This year, Google says, the number one trending term for all of 2013 was "Paul Walker." He was the steely-eyed American actor who was tragically killed in a fiery car crash this past November. The news swept the Internet by storm, as it was revealed the Fast and Furious star had been traveling in a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT after attending a charity event.
Following Walker, at #2 on the list, was the terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon, colloquially called the “Boston Marathon bombing.” Three people lost their lives that day. 264 others were injured. In what became a week-long news event, federal authorities and the Boston police searched for the alleged culprits, eventually killing one and wounding the other in an overnight gun fight in a Boston suburb, and leaving the world seeking answers (many of which have yet to be found).
Other top trending searches on the list reveal Americans’ curious thirst for information on celebrities, or world leaders, who have died: Nelson Mandela (#3), ‘Glee’ actor Cory Monteith (#4), James Gandolfini (#7), and Adrian Peterson (#10—though it was his son who passed away, not the football star).
There was also that infuriating government shutdown (#6).
But, despite all the gloom, 2013 wasn’t entirely a year of heartbreak.
Americans updated their smartphones with the iPhone 5S (#5), had some laughs with the Harlem Shake (#8), and welcomed into the world the royal baby (#9).
Here’s the full list of Google’s national top trending searches of 2013:
1. Paul Walker
2. Boston Marathon bombing
3. Nelson Mandela
4. Cory Monteith
5. iPhone 5s
6. Government shutdown
7. James Gandolfini
8. Harlem Shake
9. Royal baby
10. Adrian Peterson