North Korea, perhaps thanks to its quirky and provocative acts, has generated a flood of online search traffic worldwide and made it to Google’s top search rankings of 2013, coming in at No. 10.
According to the U.S. search engine giant, North Korea has become the only country that’s included in the top 10 most searched keywords this year.
Google’s annual Zeitgeist compilation, issued on Tuesday, shows that search queries on North Korea hit a peak in April when the U.S. announced it would deploy a missile defense system to Guam to stave off possible nuclear attacks by the North.
The No. 1 most-searched keyword on Google was “Nelson Mandela,” former South African president and anti-apartheid icon, who died on Dec. 5. Hollywood star Paul Walker, well known for the film series “Fast & Furious,” ranked second after he died in a tragic car crash in November.
“It’s perhaps unsurprising that the No. 1 trending search of 2013 was an international symbol of strength and peace: Nelson Mandela,” Google senior vice president Amit Singhal said in a blog post.
Public interest in smartphones and other high-tech gadgets also translated into a high number of queries made on the search engine across the world. Apple’s iPhone 5S, debuted in October, and its rival Galaxy S4 of South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics, launched in April, held the third and eighth spots, respectively, while Sony Corp.’s newest video game console PS4 ranked ninth.
Searches on Cory Monteith, a star on American television series “Glee” who died of a drug overdose in July, took the No. 4 slot, followed by “Harlem Shake,” a song that inspired a procession of more than 1.7 million dance videos on YouTube.
Queries on the Boston marathon and royal baby, the first child of Britain’s royal couple Prince William and Kate Middleton, ranked sixth and seventh.
On the list of top trending terms and searches in South Korea, which Google released last week, Japanese animation “Attack on Titan” occupied the top spot. Singer Psy’s hit song “Gentleman” and L.A. Dodgers’ pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin ranked second and third on the list.
By Park Han-na (firstname.lastname@example.org