toronto rob ford

Rob Ford tops Google Canada search ranking for 2013

Google Canada has just confirmed what we all knew deep down inside: Rob Ford was the biggest Canadian news event of 2013. The search giant says Toronto's troubled mayor was the number one "trending" search term of the year, beating out five awful tragedies to claim the top spot.

Ford placed ahead of late "Glee" actor Cory Monteith, "Fast and the Furious" actor Paul Walker, who died in a car crash last month, Hamilton murder victim Tim Bosma, and the Boston marathon bombing between January and December this year, with big spikes in early spring with Gawker and the Toronto Star broke the crack video story and again in November with the first ITO release.

"What we do is we look at the fastest rising year-over-year terms and rank them," says Aaron Brindle from Google Canada. "This is the stuff that generally becomes fodder for our conversations and for us we call it the 'top trending searches of 2013.'"

Rob Ford's name was often included in searches for Saturday Night Live, Daily Show, Jimmy Kimmel and other late night comedy videos. Oh, and "crack."

The trending list Ford leads ranks searches that stand out over perennial favourites, like "Facebook," "YouTube," "Justin Bieber," etc. Nelson Mandela, the royal baby, North Korea, the Harlem Shake, and the Lac-Megantic train disaster rounded out the trending top 10.

"He outpaced major news events and major news makers in Canada," Brindle says. "He was the top trending Canadian politician. If you go and look at the U.S. list in terms of male politicians that were searched last year he was number six, just in front of Kim Jong-un. He made waves globally as well as here in Canada."

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: Chris Bateman/blogTO


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