Google’s Top Searches From Washington Include Government Shutdown, Paul Walker, Hummus

The way we Google now also includes a lot of twerking, of course.

By: Benjamin Freed

How did Washington Google in 2013? Mostly like everybody else, according to the search giant’s year-end “Zeitgeist” list of the most popular seaches executed by its users in DC.

Just like the rest of the United States, Google’s DC users are celebrity- and event-obsessed, hooked on information about new electronic devices, and more than a little curious about twerking. The dance manuever in which one bends at a right angle thrusts one’s hips backward into something—a wall, thin air, Robin Thicke’s trousers—topped Google’s “what is” list and also appeared on the more practical list of “how to” searches.

After twerking, Washingtonians were most curious about ricin, hopefully a harmless credit to the finale of Breaking Bad, in which Walter White offs one of his enemies with the poisonous substance. Google users here also wanted to be educated about Obamacare, Easter, and even hummus.

Nelson Mandela and Paul Walker led Google's list of top searches around the world, but the late South African leader did not even crack any of the DC-focus lists. Walker, the star of the Fast and Furious movie series was the fifth-most searched person for Washington users. Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots tight end now facing murder charges, led that list, followed by the rapper Lil' Wayne, the late Glee actor Cory Monteith, and show-trial murder convict Jodi Arias. (Quick, someone remind us: Did Weezy do anything in 2013 besides release a lousy album?)


Google’s lists actually do contain bit of genuine local. The government shutdown was the second-most popular event and news story, trailing only the Boston Marathon. The Navy Yard shooting and sequestration also loomed large. But Washington’s sports teams aren’t so hot on Google. No local teams cracked the top 10, though the Boston Red Sox, Boston Bruins, and Pittsburgh Penguins did. Perhaps things with the Nationals, Wizards, Capitals, DC United, and Redskins got so bleak this year, we just stopped searching out of sadness.

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