Rob Ford tops Google's 2013 trending list

Google Canada has declared Toronto's notorious Mayor Rob Ford its search term of the year.

'Twerking' tops Google 'what is' searches

Google Canada has declared Toronto's embattled Mayor Rob Ford its search term of the year. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

After dissecting the more than 40 billion queries submitted throughout 2013, Google Canada has declared Toronto's notorious Mayor Rob Ford as search term of the year.

While Facebook was the absolute top search of the year — as it has been for several years running — Ford topped Google's so-called trending list, representing the search terms that stood out most compared to previous web history.

Ford was followed by the late Canadian Glee actor Cory Monteith, who died of an overdose in July; Fast and the Furious actor Paul Walker, who was killed in a car crash last month; murder victim Tim Bosma; and the Boston Marathon.

Nelson Mandela, royal baby, North Korea, the Harlem Shake dance craze, and Lac-Mégantic rounded out the Top 10 list.

"Clearly we were engaged in Toronto's municipal politics," said Google Canada spokesman Aaron Brindle of Ford's search count.

"When we look at searches for Rob Ford we saw search activity spike back in the early spring and then again in November and this was national and in some ways international in scope."

While Ford didn't make Google's Top 10 trending list in the U.S., he was an honorary mention.

Google compiled a list of the trending male politicians based on American web searches and Ford was sixth on the list, behind Nelson Mandela, Ted Cruz, Barack Obama, Hugo Chavez and Rand Paul, but ahead of Kim Jong-un, John Kerry, John F. Kennedy and Joe Biden.

Chris Hadfield, Alan Thicke among top searches

Other trending searches in 2013 for Canadian people included Chris Hadfield, Rehtaeh Parsons, Rita MacNeil, Jarome Iginla, Stompin' Tom Connors, Alice Munro and Alan Thicke. While Thicke generated the fewest headlines of the other Canadians on the list, his son Robin had a massive hit with Blurred Lines and he frequently found himself being asked about the tune's risque video.

Robin Thicke was the top trending musician, ahead of Miley Cyrus, Justin Timberlake, Lorde, Lou Reed, Macklemore, Bruno Mars, Beyonce, Daft Punk and Eminem.
Pop star Justin Bieber's had the top ranking among people searched for in Canada in 2013. (Hugo Correia/Reuters)

One of the most interesting annual lists Google releases is a countdown of trending "what is" searches, which reveals what topics web searchers were keen to learn more about.

"What is twerking" topped the list, and the provocative dance was also the No. 1 "how to" search. Fracking was second on the "what is" list, followed by ricin, bbm, molly, bitcoin, Monsanto, Snapchat, EPO and DOMA.

In federal politics, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau got the most searches, followed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Senator Mike Duffy, Senator Pamela Wallin and former astronaut turned MP Marc Garneau. NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair was tenth.

As much as Canadians couldn't get enough of Ford's antics, he still wasn't the absolute most searched for person of the year.

"You can't best the Biebs," joked Brindle, referring to pop star Justin Bieber's top ranking among people searched for in Canada in 2013.

Here's a complete look at Google Canada's top searches of 2013:

Top trending searches

  • Rob Ford
  • Cory Monteith
  • Paul Walker
  • Tim Bosma
  • Boston Marathon
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Royal Baby
  • North Korea
  • Harlem Shake
  • Lac Mégantic

Top trending Canadians

  • Rob Ford
  • Cory Monteith
  • Tim Bosma
  • Chris Hadfield
  • Rehtaeh Parsons
  • Rita MacNeil
  • Jarome Iginla
  • Stompin' Tom Connors
  • Alice Munro
  • Alan Thicke

Top trending celebrities

  • Cory Monteith
  • Paul Walker
  • Amanda Bynes
  • James Gandolfini
  • Jennifer Lawrence
  • Robin Thicke
  • Miley Cyrus
  • Lea Michele
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Lorde

Top trending "what is" searches

  • What is twerking
  • What is fracking
  • What is ricin
  • What is bbm
  • What is molly
  • What is bitcoin
  • What is Monsanto
  • What is Snapchat
  • What is EPO
  • What is DOMA

Most searched for federal politicians

  • Justin Trudeau
  • Stephen Harper
  • Mike Duffy
  • Pamela Wallin
  • Marc Garneau
  • John Baird
  • Peter MacKay
  • Jason Kenney
  • Jim Flaherty
  • Thomas Mulcair

Top trending Canadian sports teams

  • Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Montreal Canadiens
  • Ottawa Senators
  • Edmonton Oilers
  • Calgary Flames
  • Vancouver Canucks
  • Winnipeg Jets
  • Saskatchewan Roughriders
  • Toronto Raptors
  • Hamilton Tiger Cats

Top trending athletes

  • Tiger Woods
  • Oscar Pistorius
  • Aaron Hernandez
  • Lindsey Vonn
  • Jarome Iginla
  • Rudy Gay
  • Sidney Crosby
  • Jeff Gordon
  • Phil Kessel
  • Jason Collins

Top trending musicians

  • Robin Thicke
  • Miley Cyrus
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Lorde
  • Lou Reed
  • Macklemore
  • Bruno Mars
  • Beyonce
  • Daft Punk
  • Eminem

Most searched for movies

  • Gravity
  • Hunger Games 2
  • Man of Steel
  • Iron Man 3
  • Pacific Rim
  • World War Z
  • Spring Breakers
  • Les Miserables
  • Despicable Me 2
  • Django Unchained

Top trending TV shows

  • Breaking Bad
  • Big Brother Canada
  • Homeland
  • Amazing Race Canada
  • Duck Dynasty
  • House of Cards
  • Hannibal
  • Arrested Development
  • Blacklist
  • The Social

Top trending recipes

  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Lasagna
  • Hollandaise Sauce
  • Borscht Soup
  • Hamburger
  • Chicken Cacciatore
  • Rice Krispies Squares
  • Tzatziki
  • Cronut
  • Kale Salad


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