What is the Google Year-End Zeitgeist?

Google Zeitgeist

“Zeitgeist” means “the spirit of the times.” At the end of each year, Google celebrates this spirit by revisiting the year’s top searches around the world. From most-searched travel destinations in Brazil, to trending Australian celebrities, to most-searched Egyptian Olympians, to top tech gadgets in Japan, and everything in between, these lists give us insight into the curiosities that captured the world’s attention in 2013.

This year, we’re launching the 13th annual Google Year-End Zeitgeist on google.com/zeitgeist. Our site showcases over 1,000 top-ten lists across pop culture, sports, music, politics, news, and more. It’s global, spanning over 70 countries. You can check out global search trends, compare terms using interactive data visualizations, and watch the annual Zeitgeist video.

 How did you determine which terms were popular this year?

We created these lists and data visualizations using a combination of tools that provide insight into global, regional, past and present search trends in aggregate. Much of the data was informed by Google Trends, a publicly available tool that displays relative search volume across geographies, time periods and queries. We also used internal tools that allow us to do some more complex analysis, such as combining country data from across the European Union. We’ve also filtered out spam, irrelevant queries and repeated queries so our lists can best reflect the “spirit of the times.”

Google Trends lets you dive deep into what’s popular on the Internet — you can compare search data by time, location, and between queries. Google Trends also offers category filtering, top and rising searches, and geographic “heat maps”.

 What categories do you have in Zeitgeist 2013?

Trending Searches: What was hot in 2013? The “trending” queries are the searches that had the highest amount of traffic over a sustained period in 2013 as compared to 2012.

Most Searched: What topped Google’s charts? The “most searched” queries are simply the most popular terms for 2013, ranked in order by volume of searches.

From what gadgets and gizmos were trending, to what styles were hot, to which athletes inspired us, Zeitgeist showcases what captured the world’s attention this year through the lens of Google Search.

Zeitgeist By the Numbers

●     72 countries represented worldwide,  with 17  new this year including Bangladesh, Croatia, and Venezuela

●     Zeitgeist site is available in 52 languages this year

●     Over 1,000 top-ten lists, representing over 1.3 trillion searches done in 146 languages

●     2001: year we started doing Zeitgeist, we had only 14 lists limited to the US

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