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December 11, 2013

Most Popular Searches of 2013: How Trends Can Help You

Photo Credit: skw234567 via flickr

If you analyze the data for the types of searches most Internet users make throughout the year, the most popular terms aren’t always about the most well-liked people or the most positive news stories – instead, people search for what everyone is talking about.

So while Miley Cyrus may have shocked and disgruntled America throughout 2013 with many scandalous public stunts, Internet users still wanted to read about her. She was the 9th most searched person for 2013!

It’s pretty simple. No matter what industry you’re in, you want to be the brand or business that everyone is talking about. After all, that’s what will lead to Internet users searching for you. So how do you get people talking – and, of course, searching – about you?

Focus on Content

Well, you can try doing shocking, potentially controversial, social media campaigns to gain publicity, similar to what I wrote about a few months ago. Or you could tediously continue working on your SEO, knowing that becoming the first site in a Google search won’t happen overnight.

Or you could get creative with your content marketing strategies. The 2013 search data is a great resource to generate new ideas for your content marketing. What was everyone searching for, and can you find a way to relate it to your brand or business? If you can write or build links about topics that are loosely related to the search trends, your brand will become more relevant.

It’s clear that when it comes to content, you should always aim to be fresh, valuable and viral. You want to give your customers the information they’re searching for, while also engaging with them and influencing their decision to buy. Let’s break down the 2013 search trends to figure out how your business can give users the content they want.

Top-Searched People

Bing was one of the first search engines to release its full list of most popular searches for 2013. Their top five most searched people in 2013 were:

  1. Beyoncé Knowles
  2. Kim Kardashian
  3. Rihanna
  4. Taylor Swift
  5. Madonna

This shows whether we like it or not, celebrities and public stars are one of the most highly-searched items in search engines. Barack Obama finally hit the Bing charts at #10 below 9 other celebrities. Finding a way to occasionally tie in celebrities to your content marketing might be something to think about.

While it wouldn’t necessarily be helpful or relevant to write about BeyoncĂ© or target your SEO around her if your company sells cookware, Google Trends allows you to view the top charts for a variety of other categories. Pumpkin is the top search term under the Foods category. Would any of your products or website pages help a user looking to make a dish with pumpkin? Think outside the box, and find ways to relate your brand to what users want – and, simultaneously, what users are searching for.

Most-Searched Social Media Sites

Bing also released the most searched social media sites on its 2013 list. Rankings like this can let you see which social media networks are the most popular among Internet users – or, at least, which networks users are searching for to find information.

Facebook was the first, with Pinterest coming in second and Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram coming in third, fourth and fifth. This comes as no surprise, but it could help you consider the best ways to focus your social media efforts.

Most Popular Questions of 2013

Questions are an interesting search to consider, because Internet users surf the Internet primarily to feel connected, learn new information or find answers to their curiosities. is a site that lets users ask questions and receive instantaneous answers. The trends in the types of searched questions show what Internet users wanted to know the most this year.

“What is the royal baby’s name?” was the top question on for 2013. This isn’t a complete shock, since we’ve already seen that celebrities generate the highest amount of search volume. However, plenty of news stories rounded up the rest of the top 10 asked questions.

“Where was the Boston Marathon bomber found?” was #2, and “Will the U.S. invade Syria?” was #3. This shows that users genuinely want to stay knowledgeable on other topics besides celebrities and public figures.

What kinds of questions are your consumers asking? Think of ways you could address them. You could try to target your SEO around some popular searched questions, but you could also consider writing a FAQ post or a post with tips to help answer some of your consumers’ most pressing questions or concerns.

Top Seasonal Searches

Black Friday has passed, but we can still learn a lot by looking at the top trending gifts on that day. While we can’t replace the popular brands that made the list, they can still show us what types of products are the most popular, so you can consider how your product or service connects to what consumers want.

For instance, video game consoles – specifically the Sony PlayStation and Xbox – were the top trending gift. Tablets and Minecraft Legos were numbers 2 and 3, and UGG boots were ranked fourth. The North Face brand also made the list at #7, and Beats by Dr Dre headphones were #5.

We can find patterns in the top trending gifts, such as users being interested in clothing and fashion items that provide warmth; entertainment items such as video games and music also seem to be one of the top gifts.

Continue analyzing the type of searches that took place over this year’s seasonal shopping days, so you can prepare your marketing efforts for the next holiday. Find ways to fit your business into the types of products users want most.

What do you think of the most popular searches of 2013? How will you use this information to rank better in 2014?


Adrienne Erin is a freelance writer and blogger who is always looking at the trends and how they can help businesses like State Continuing Education be more successful.