Paul Walker

Paul Walker Photo: Reuters

In an election year when the government changed and public services jobs were constantly under threat, in a year when Canberra turned 100 years old and planned endless celebrations and floated a giant ten-breasted whale, in a year when the ACT became the first state to legalise same-sex marriage, what did Canberrans Google the most? Paul Walker.

In this handout image provided by Kensington Palace, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge pose for a photograph with their son, Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge.

In this handout image provided by Kensington Palace, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge pose for a photograph with their son, Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge.

Search engine giant Google released their Zeitgeist 2013 report on Wednesday, which reveals the most searched-for trending terms across the world over the year.

Much like the rest of Australia, Canberrans shunned abundant local options for news and events when turning to the search engine in favour of finding out more about the Fast and the Furious actor who died in a car crash late in 2013.

Nationally, the obsession with celebrity dominated the top three trending search terms – Cory Monteith (the Glee star who died earlier this year), and the royal baby were the next two most popular search terms for the year.

Cory Monteith.

Cory Monteith. Photo: Jessica Dale

In Canberra the Rural Fire Service (RFS) was the second most-searched for term after the hottest summer on record to start the year and during the Sydney bushfires in October, and Cory Monteith was third.

Google spokesman Shane Treeves said the lists captured the “shooting star queries” for the year, rather than commonly-searched terms that people routinely enter in to the search engine.

“Trending searches are the searches that have received the greatest rise in 2013 compared to 2012,” he said.

“There’s an eclectic mix of searches people make ranging from locally-focussed searches around things happening in their own neighbourhood, for example the Canberra Centenary was a big search this year for Canberrans, and then global events.”

The national capital also revealed its curiosity with controversial politicians – the top three political names trending in Canberra over 2013 were on-again-off-again former prime minister Kevin Rudd, former Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella, and big new personality in parliament Clive Palmer.

Nationally, “how to vote” made the top 10 “how to” searches for the year, while Tony Abbott topped the list of the most searched-for politicians.

“Canberra 100” and “Canberra centenary” both peaked as search terms in Canberra in March around the capital’s birthday weekend, while searches for “Skywhale” peaked in May before tapering off.

Canberrans’ searches also showed a keen interest in the new names in town for the year – making the top 10 trending searches to include the word “Canberra” were “Jamie Oliver Canberra”, “Palace Cinema Canberra”, “Zara Canberra”, and “Spiegeltent Canberra”.

Around the nation, web users turned to Google to find out more information about popular apps like Snapchat and Instagram, but the number one “what is” search for the year was for those wanting to catch up on pop singer Miley Cyrus’ controversial dance moves, “twerking”.

There were more than one trillion searches on Google around the globe in 2013, and Mr Treeves said the end of year report showed the diversity of queries, particularly as people turned more towards their smartphones for information on the go.

 “The Google year-end Zeitgeist is a cultural barometer that tries to capture the big moments of the year. I think it does reflect what was on our minds this year, what was interesting to us and the stories we want to find out more about, the trend we wanted to get online with,” he said.

 “It’s a mixture of people looking to better understand global events … as well as people using their phones and searching every day.”

Overall Trending Searches for Canberra in 2013

  1. Paul Walker

  2. RFS

  3. Cory Monteith

  4. Royal Baby

  5. Allhomes Canberra

  6. iPhone 5S

  7. Beyond Bank

  8. Virgin Flights

  9. Edmodo

  10. The Block


Trending politicians in Canberra

  1. Kevin Rudd

  2. Sophie Mirabella

  3. Clive Palmer

  4. Bill Shorten

  5. Marise Payne

  6. Scott Morrison

  7. Jan McLucas

  8. Greg Hunt

  9. Fiona Scott

  10. Anthony Albanese