SA’s number one trending search of 2013 is…

December 18, 2013 • Online, Southern Africa

Today, Google announced its annual Year End Zeitgeist, a look at 2013 through the collective eyes of the world on the web, offering a unique perspective on the year’s major events and hottest trends based on searches conducted in South Africa.  This year marks Google’s 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, including South Africa.

Google has released its annual year-end Zeitgeist featuring top trending searches in South Africa. (Image source: Google/

Google has released its annual year-end Zeitgeist featuring top trending searches in South Africa. (Image source: Google/

Julie Taylor, Head of Communications for Google Sub-Saharan Africa, said, “Every day, around the world and across South Africa, we search. We want to find out more about people who are making an impact on the world, to learn about events that are making headlines, or just to settle a dinner table dispute between friends. In our annual Year-End Zeitgeist, we reflect on the people, places, and moments that captured the world’s attention throughout the year.”

South Africa’s Biggest Moments

South African hero, Nelson Mandela, comes in at number one this year after the news of his death that shook not only South Africa, but the world.  Other news headlines that have tugged at the heart strings and voices of many South Africans over the year: the court appearance of Oscar Pistorius and death of Vuyo Mbuli feature prominently in this year’s lists. Melissa Bachman raised many eyebrows after her South African hunting experience, resulting in a roar of heated social media debates around the topic – she comes in fourth to Margaret Thatcher, Kim Kardashian’s baby (named North West) and South African model, Reeva Steenkamp.

When it comes to ‘fads’, it seems everyone has exploded into the ‘harlem shake’ on a dance floor at some stage in 2013, which shimmies it’s way to the “top fad” spot. Close behind it in popularity is ‘twerking’ – made famous by Miley Cyrus and now added to the English language by the Oxford online dictionary. Who have South Africans been listening to the most while enjoying these moves? Swedish House Mafia is most popular this year, with South African artist, Vuyo Mokoena also grabbing the attention of listeners.

Here’s a look at just a few of Google’s top 10 trending search lists of 2013, as searched for by South Africans.  (You can find more extensive lists below and on the Zeitgeist site).


1.     Nelson Mandela

2.     Oscar Pistorius

3.     Paul Walker

4.     Defencex

5.     Vuyo Mbuli

6.     OLX

7.     Standard Bank internet

8.     BBM for Android

9.     Reeva Steenkamp

10.  Royal Baby


1.     Nelson Mandela

2.     Oscar Pistorius

3.     Paul Walker

4.     Vuyo Mbuli

5.     Cory Monteith

6.     Baby Jake Matlala

7.     Burry Stander

8.     Lance Armstrong

9.     Baba Jukwa

10.  Charlie Hunnam

11.  Khuli Chana

12.  Vuyo Mokoena


1.     Reeva Steenkamp

2.     Kim Kardashian Baby

3.     Margaret Thatcher

4.     Melissa Bachman

5.     Savita Mbuli

6.     Amanda Bynes

7.     Dakota Johnson

8.     Nigella Lawson

9.     Celine Dion

10.  Anene Booysen


1.     Harlem Shake

2.     Twerking

3.     Gangman Style

4.     Wrecking Ball

5.     Minions


1.     Swedish House Mafia

2.     Vuyo Mokoena

3.     Khuli Chana

4.     Kurt Darren

5.     Bon Jovi

6.     Celine Dion

7.     Robin Thicke

8.     Metallica

9.     Ariana Grande

10.  Katy Perry

Global Biggest Moments

As we get ready to turn the page to 2014, Google invites 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 Google’s global events list, also captured the world’s attention.   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 Google’s global list; it was also the second most trending video on YouTube.

Here’s a full look at Google’s 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 4s

9.     PlayStation 4

10.  North Korea


South Africa Top Trending: PEOPLE

1.     Nelson Mandela

2.     Oscar Pistorius

3.     Paul Walker

4.     Vuyo Mbuli

5.     Reeva Steenkamp

6.     Cory Monteith

7.     Baby Jake Matlala

8.     Kim Kardashian

9.     Burry Stander

10.  Lance Armstrong

South Africa Top Trending: SOUTH AFRICAN MEN

1.     Nelson Mandela

2.     Oscar Pistorius

3.     Vuyo Mbuli

4.     Baby Jake Matlala

5.     Burry Stander

6.     Khuli Chana

7.     Mandla Mandela

8.     Vuyo Mokoena

9.     Kurt Darren

10.  Norman Tloubatla

South Africa Top Trending: SOUTH AFRICAN WOMEN

1.     Reeva Steenkamp

2.     Savita Mbuli

3.     Anene Booysen

4.     Mandy Rossouw

5.     Khuli Roberts

6.     Caster Semenya

7.     Mamphela Ramphele

8.     Mpisane

9.     Thandi Maqubela

10.  Vega Gupta

South Africa Trending: SPORTSPEOPLE

1.     Oscar Pistorius

2.     Baby Jake Matlala

3.     Burry Stander

4.     Lance Armstrong

5.     Gareth Bale

6.     Mayweather

7.     Caster Semenya

8.     Mesut Ozil

9.     David Moyes

10.  Sachin Tendulkar

South Africa Most Searched: SA SPORTSPEOPLE

1.     Oscar Pistorius

2.     Chad le Clos

3.     Cameron van der Burgh

4.     Mark Boucher

5.     Siphiwe Tshabalala

6.     Ernie Els

7.     Ryk Neethling

8.     Jacques Kallis

9.     Sunette Viljoen

10.  Graeme Smith

South Africa Trending: POLITICIANS

1.     Mamphela Ramphele

2.     Mmusi Maimane

3.     Lindiwe Mazibuko

4.     Patricia De Lille

5.     Trevor Manuel

6.     Gwede Mantashe

7.     Blade Nzimande

8.     Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

9.     Cyri Ramaphosa

10.  Helen Zille

South Africa Most Searched: POLITICIANS

1.     Jacob Zuma

2.     Julius Malema

3.     Thabo Mbeki

4.     Lindiwe Mazibuko

5.     Mamphela Ramphele

6.     Helen Zille

7.     Cyril Ramaphosa

8.     Blade Nzimande

9.     Gwede Mantashe

10.  Trevor Manuel

South Africa Most Searched: SA COMEDIANS

1.     Trevor Noah

2.     Barry Hilton

3.     Nik Rabinowitz

4.     Loyiso Gola

5.     Marc Lottering

South Africa Trending: REGULAR EVENTS

1.     Afcon

2.     Dakar

3.     Easter

4.     Wimbledon

5.     Budget Speech

6.     Durban July

7.     Oscars

8.     Ramadan

9.     ICC Champions Trophy

10.  Cape Epic

South Africa Trending: EVENTS

1.     Nelson Mandela

2.     Paul Walker Dies

3.     Boston Bombing

4.     Reeva Steenkamp Funeral

5.     Red October

6.     Gupta Wedding

7.     Costa Concordia

8.     Pinetown Accident

9.     Zimbabwe Elections

10.  Vuyo Mbuli Funeral

South Africa Trending: SPORTS EVENTS

1.     Afcon

2.     Dakar

3.     Icc Champions Trophy

4.     Wimbledon

5.     Cape Epic

6.     Confederations Cup

7.     Australian Open

8.     Wrestlemania

9.     Super Rugby

10.  Warrior Race

South Africa Trending: HOLIDAYS

1.     Easter

2.     Ramadan

3.     Public Holidays

4.     Diwali

5.     Chinese New Year

South Africa Trending: TV SERIES

1.     Idols SA

2.     Masterchef South Africa

3.     Doctor Who

4.     Isibaya

5.     Arrow

6.     Ray Donovan

7.     BBA The Chasse

8.     The Originals

9.     American Idols 2013

10.  Revenge Season 3

South Africa Most Searched: TV SERIES

1.     Suits

2.     Vampire Diaries

3.     Game Of Thrones

4.     Generations

5.     Revenge

6.     Revolution

7.     Glee

8.     Masterchef Australia

9.     Supernatural

10.  Breaking Bad

South Africa Trending: TECHNOLOGY

1.     BBM For Android

2.     WeChat

3.     Samsung Galaxy S4

4.     Blackberry 10

5.     IOS 7

6.     Bitstrips

7.     Iphone 5s

8.     Samsung Galaxy S3

9.     Xbox One

10.  Fifa 14

South Africa Trending: GAMING

1.     Fifa14

2.     Atari Breakout

3.     Gta V

4.     Kings Of Chaos

5.     SimCity

South Africa Trending: ONLINE SHOPPING

1.     OLX

2.     Zando

3.     Spree

4.     Computicket South Africa

5.     Style 36


1.     EFF

2.     Red October

3.     Budget Speech 2013

4.     Mamphela Ramphele

5.     Zimbabwe Elections

6.     Agang

7.     Vavi

8.     Kenya Elections

9.     Dina Pule

10.  Uhuru Kenyatta

South Africa Trending: BANKING/FINANCE

1.     standard bank

2.     absa

3.     nedbank

4.     wonga

5.     capitec

South Africa Trending: EDUCATION

1.     Unisa South Africa

2.     Puff And Pass

3.     Up Portal

4.     TMLearn

5.     Ukzn Email

6.     School Terms

7.     School Holidays 2014

8.     Bursaries For 2014

9.     Wits Sakai

10.  Glenvista Highschool

South Africa Trending: MEDIA

1.     Power Fm

2.     Enca

3.     Maroela Media

4.     ANN7

5.     News24 Online

South Africa Trending: HOW TO…

1.     Twerk

2.     Fight

3.     Survive

4.     Tutt

5.     Drawing

6.     Massage

7.     Dance

8.     Skip

9.     Kickflip

10.  Code

South Africa Trending: WHAT IS…

1.     Twerking

2.     E-Communication

3.     Instagram

4.     Christmas

5.     Lte

6.     Sake

7.     Refugee

8.     Seo

9.     Monsanto

10.  Research

Staff writer

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