News & Politics

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.

Photograph by Annette Shaff / Shutterstock.

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.

Top trending searches

  • Boston Marathon
  • Aaron Hernandez
  • iPhone 5s
  • Lil Wayne
  • Cory Monteith
  • Jodi Arias
  • Government Shutdown
  • Paul Walker
  • North Korea
  • Royal baby

Top trending events

  • Boston Marathon
  • Government shutdown
  • Memorial day 2013
  • Super Bowl 2013
  • Inauguration
  • Thanksgiving 2013
  • Labor Day 2013
  • Oklahoma tornado
  • Oscars 2013
  • Cherry blossom 2013

Top trending politics/news

  • Boston Marathon
  • Government shutdown
  • North Korea
  • Navy Yard shooting
  • Zimmerman trial
  • Inauguration
  • DOMA
  • Sequestration
  • Pope
  • Miley Cyrus VMAs

Top trending people

  • Aaron Hernandez
  • Lil Wayne
  • Cory Monteith
  • Jodi Arias
  • Paul Walker
  • Royal baby
  • Paula Deen
  • Kate Middleton
  • Trayvon Martin
  • Amanda Bynes

Top Zagat searches

  • Jaleo
  • Clyde’s
  • Hank’s Oyster Bar
  • Chef Geoff
  • Black Salt
  • J. Gilbert’s
  • Lincoln
  • Taylor Gourmet
  • Inn at Little Washington
  • Bistro Bistro 

Top trending “What is” searches

  • What is twerking?
  • What is ricin?
  • What is path?
  • What is sequestration?
  • What is DOMA?
  • What is Obamacare?
  • What is CISPA?
  • What is Easter?
  • What is Bitcoin?
  • What is hummus? 

Top trending “How to” searches

  • How to screenshot
  • How to wop
  • How to flirt
  • How to footnote
  • How to pray
  • How to paint
  • How to twerk
  • How to rap
  • How to run
  • How to relax

Top trending technology

  • iPhone 5s
  • iOS 7
  • iPhone 5c
  • Galaxy s4
  • Xbox One
  • iPhone 6
  • Playstation 4
  • HTC One
  • Nexus 5
  • Vine

Top trending films

  • Iron Man 3
  • Man of Steel
  • Sharknado
  • World War Z
  • The Conjuring
  • The Purge
  • Zero Dark Thirty
  • Fruitvale Station
  • Pacific Rim
  • Spring Breakers

Top trending sport

  • Mayweather vs Canelo
  • Red Sox
  • NFL Draft 2013
  • Masters 2013
  • Wimbledon 2013
  • NBA Draft 2013
  • Bruins
  • Pittsburgh Penguins
  • World Baseball Classic
  • March Madness 2013

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.