Google Zeitgeist 2013: Irish obsessed with ‘twerking’ and ‘property tax’

17 Dec 2013

In Google’s Zeitgeist listing of the most trending search terms it turns out most Irish people were balancing a curiosity about ‘twerking’ with how to be compliant citizens and pay the dreaded property tax.

The results show that the recent death of Fast and Furious star Paul Walker unleashed a torrent of search activity, and the death of South Africa’s former president Nelson Mandela dominated top trending searches.

The theme of death was also made popular in terms of searches for former UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher, as well as Sopranos star James Gandolfini.

Kerry teenager Donal Walsh also topped searches after he came to national prominence pleading for the end of the suicide epidemic among young people, before losing his own battle with cancer in April.

But there was also the theme of birth, too, with the birth of “Royal Baby” Prince George in July of this year.

Environment Minister Phil Hogan dominated the search trends this year for his role in spearheading property tax and the installation of water meters.

Another politician topped the searches for his actions during the year. Independent TD Mick Wallace’s meeting with WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange, his construction company went into receivership, and he made headlines for admitting he was caught by gardaí while driving and using his mobile phone.

“Twerking” as made famous by pop stars Miley Cyrus with Robin Thicke at the VMA Awards topped the “what is” list, displacing “love” for the first time.

New words that have entered the lexicon of search for the Irish include “catfish” – a being who pretends to be someone they are not to pursue deceptive online romances and “Grumpy Cat” also topped the search list.

Not surprisingly, Breaking Bad was the top searched TV show on Google while Love/Hate and the Rose of Tralee also proved very popular search terms.

Google Zeitgeist lists for Ireland in 2013

Top Trending Searches

  1. Paul Walker
  3. Cory Monteith
  4. Trivago
  5. Property Tax
  6. Royal Baby
  7. Oscar Pistorius
  8. Eurovision 2013
  9. Nelson Mandela
  10. Oxegen 2013

Top Trending People

  1. Paul Walker
  2. Cory Monteith
  3. Oscar Pistorius
  4. Nelson Mandela
  5. Margaret Thatcher
  6. Nigella Lawson
  7. James Gandolfini
  8. Pope Francis
  9. Amanda Bynes
  10. Donal Walsh

Top Trending TV Shows

  1. Breaking Bad
  2. Game of Thrones
  3. Eurovision 2013
  4. Big Brother 2013
  5. X Factor 2013
  6. Operation Transformation 2013
  7. Rose of Tralee
  8. Love/Hate
  9. Britain’s Got Talent
  10. I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here

Top Trending sports personalities

  1. Conor McGregor
  2. Gareth Bale
  3. Oscar Pistorius
  4. Alex Ferguson
  5. David Moyes
  6. Niall Donoghue
  7. Mesut Ozil
  8. Willian
  9. Thiago Alcantara
  10. Wayne Rooney

Top Trending Sports Teams

  1. Lions
  2. Arsenal
  3. Dublin GAA
  4. Spurs
  5. Cork City FC
  6. Liverpool FC
  7. Celtic FC
  8. Derry City FC
  9. Clare Hurling GAA team
  10. Drogheda United

Top Trending Words

  1. Snapchat
  2. Harlem Shake
  3. Catfish
  4. Twerking
  5. Grumpy Cat
  6. Selfie
  7. Photobombing
  8. Squinch
  9. Whovian
  10. Workation

Top Trending What is…?

  1. What is twerking
  2. What is love
  3. What is anxiety
  4. What is gluten
  5. What is illuminati
  6. What is gout
  7. What is fracking
  8. What is autism
  9. What is cilantro
  10. What is lupus

Top Trending Cities

  1. Moscow, Russia
  2. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  3. Prague, Czech Republic
  4. Rome, Italy
  5. Istanbul, Turkey
  6. Venice, Italy
  7. Berlin, Germany
  8. Paris, France
  9. Barcelona, Spain
  10. London, UK

Top Trending Politicians

  1. Phil Hogan
  2. Enda Kenny
  3. Mick Wallace
  4. James Reilly
  5. Leo Varadkar
  6. Ruairi Quinn
  7. Frances Fitzgerald
  8. Michael Martin
  9. Simon Coveney
  10. Joan Burton

Top Trending Artists

  1. Miley Cyrus
  2. One Direction
  3. Macklemore
  4. Kodaline
  5. Robin Thicke
  6. Taylor Swift
  7. Lorde
  8. Bonnie Tyler
  9. Cher
  10. Katy Perry

Top Trending Movies

  1. Les Misérables
  2. Man of Steel
  3. Django Unchained
  4. World War Z
  5. The Conjuring
  6. The Impossible
  7. Iron Man 3
  8. Wreck it Ralph
  9. Pacific Rim
  10. Zero Dark Thirty

Top Trending Events

  1. Oxegen
  2. Electric Picnic
  3. Longitude
  4. Glastonbury
  5. Flightfest
  6. Rose of Tralee
  7. Cork Jazz Festival
  8. Ploughing Championships
  9. Galway Oyster Festival
  10. Wexford Opera Festival

Top Trending Gadgets

  1. PS4
  2. Samsung Galaxy S4
  3. iPhone 5S
  4. Xbox One
  5. HTC One
  6. Google Glass
  7. iPad Air
  8. Samsung Note
  9. Google Nexus 5
  10. Galaxy Gear

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years