Google Zeitgeist 2013: Australia’s most googled

From welcoming the Royal Baby to bidding goodbye to Paul Walker, customising Bitstrips to finding Timbuktu, Google’s annual Zeitgeist has revealed what captivated Aussies in 2013.

Trending Searches

Paul Walker’s sudden passing made him Australia’s top trending search (the search terms that have seen the largest increase in search volume over the year) for 2013, followed in second by former Glee star Cory Monteith. The Royal Baby, Prince George of Cambridge, now third in succession for the British throne, similarly came in at number three on this year’s overall top trending list.

Also making the top 10 were searches about North Korea, information about how to stay safe from fires with the RFS, and registering to vote with the AEC. Three Australian reality TV shows, The BlockMy Kitchen Rules, and House Rules also made the year’s top trending list.

Top Trending Searches for 2013

  1. Paul Walker
  2. Cory Monteith
  3. Royal Baby
  4. iPhone 5s
  5. North Korea
  6. RFS
  7. AEC
  8. The Block
  9. My Kitchen Rules
  10. House Rules


Google spokesperson Shane Treeves says, “Google’s year-end Zeitgeist is a cultural barometer that provides a snapshot of the year’s big events, memorable moments and growing trends in Australia.

“Google is often the first place Australians turn to find out more about our heroes, learn new skills, fact-check the news, and settle dinner table disputes between friends. And just as often, we go to Google to help us answer everyday questions like whether we’ll need an umbrella tomorrow, when the next train leaves for Bondi, or how many calories are in an avocado.”

How to…

Australians were feeling particularly arty in 2013, with how to draw topping this year’s ‘how to’ searches. Creative Aussies continued their fascination with DIY crafts by wanting to learn how to crochet, how to knit and how to make other homemade tidbits too. Romeos and Juliets across the nation looked for tips about how to kiss to win over their Capulets and Montagues.

What is…?

While advanced dancers were looking to master the intricacies of Miley Cyrus’ new moves, most of us first needed to ask what is twerking — making it our most searched ‘what is’ query this year. We also delved deeper into life and relationships this year to ask what is love and what is anxiety. To stay up to date with the latest tech lingo, we asked what is Instagram and what is Tumblr and searched for more information about Bitstrips, Snapchat and Bitcoins.

Trending news

Major news searches about people included interest in the Royal Baby’s name and Angelina Jolie’s mastectomy, and we were also searching for Boston bombing, Typhoon Haiyan, Oklahoma tornado and Russian meteor. The US government shutdown, Costa Concordia situation and news about North Korea also piqued Aussie’s interest.


Miranda Kerr beat out Michelle Bridges and Tom Waterhouse to take out the title of Australia’s most-searched celebrity. Paul Walker, Cory Monteith Nelson Mandela, Tony Abbott and Oscar Pistorius were the top five trending people from around the world.


In this election year, how to vote made it into the top 10 ‘how to’ list. Voters jumped online to find out more information about prospective candidates, with Tony Abbott, Kevin Rudd and Clive Palmer our top three trending politicians.


Sonny Bill Williams took out the title as the most-searched athlete, with Federer and Lebron James taking out the silver and bronze. Local sports teams Sydney Swans and Essendon Football Club were outplayed by Chelsea to take out the most-searched sports team of 2013.

The big questions

This year Australians also turned to Google to ask some tough questions including who is God, did dragons exist and where is Timbuktu.

Google 2013 zeitgeist tables



Google fast risers: iPad, Woolworths top search list

Today Google released its first ever brand zeitgeist, reporting the top brand-related searches over the last year.

iPad ad came up trumps as the fastest rising advertising campaign search term, proving it was again the year of Apple dominance. On the surface of it, you would assume KFC would be happy with coming in at second place, but the popular search for kfc ad returned a widely criticized cricket season commercial, which shows a white man sedating West Indian fans with fried chicken.

Woolworths proved their move in to online shopping was well timed, coming in at number one for fastest rising retailer.

The fastest rising Google Maps search results were a tad bizarre; parents couldnt decide whether they wanted to nurse their kids back to health, with Eastbrooke Family Clinic taking the top spot, or lock them up, with juvinile centre (spelt incorrectly) coming in second. Furniture retailer Nick Scali and pizza joint Little Caesers also made it in the top ten.

“Australians are online and they’re looking for your brand and your business, Google Australia’s sales industry lead Will Easton said. You need to be online to respond to their interest and convert these consumers into customers. The savviest Australian marketers are incorporating online advertising – whether it’s search, display, video, or even mobile – into their plans from the start and making sure that their online ads are engaging Australians in real dialogue.”

Fastest rising Google searches for advertising campaigns
1. ipad ad
2. kfc ad
3. libra invisible ad
4. mazda ad
5. old spice ad
6. brut ad
7. kia ad
8. aami ad
9. qantas ad
10. perfect italiano ad

Fastest rising Google searches for retailers

1. woolworths online shopping
2. urban outfitters
3. shopbop
4. saks fifth avenue
5. dfo south wharf
6. nordstrom
7. rubi shoes
8. graysonline
9. zara
10. walmart

Fastest rising searches on Google Maps

1. eastbrooke family clinic
2. juvinile center
3. little caesars
4. the bicycle entrepreneur
5. the electric discounter
6. mt everest
7. tour eiffel
8. hawthorn town hall
9. nick scali
10. sbs federation square

Fastest rising Google searches for Australian brands

1. abc3
3. bendigo bank
4. nrl
7. masterchef
8. graysonline
10. afl

Google reveals the internet eitgeist (German for he spirit of the times) through an exploration of the billions of search queries they receive each year.

Google reveals 2009 zeitgeist

Google reveals 2009 zeitgeist

Google has released its annual zeitgeist report of top search terms.

The most popular Australian search? Facebook. People googling Google came in at sixth and competitor Yahoo came seventh. The top 10:

  1. Facebook
  2. YouTube
  3. Hotmail
  4. eBay
  5. MySpace
  6. Google
  7. Yahoo
  8. Gmail
  9. Bebo
  10. Seek

Good news for HDTV in the fastest rising list:

  1. one hd
  3. MasterChef
  4. melbourne cup 2009
  5. grooveshark
  6. new moon movie
  7. facebook search
  8. trading post auto
  9. smartkiddies
  10. currency converter calculator

Australia punched well above its weight, with ‘MasterChef australia’ coming in at number 10 in the fastest rising food and drink category, globally.

Finally, Australians were more concerned about Britpop band Oasis’s split than Telstra’s. The full breakdown is available here.