The Netherlands’ most popular search terms 2013

The Netherlands’ most popular search terms 2013

Google Netherlands has published its annual Zeitgeist list of the most searched terms for 2013.

At number one was "Facebook," although not necessarily because people are unsure how to find the site directly: it was most often used in combination with someone’s name.

Popular people in the Netherlands

The fastest rising Googled person was Paul Walker, star of the Fast and Furious movie series who died in a car accident in November.

If not for his unfortunate death, the top position would have gone to Sabia Boulahrouz, girlfriend of the most-searched for Dutch footballer Rafael van der Vaart.

The most searched-for Dutch politician was Prime Minister Mark Rutte, while internationally it was US president Barrack Obama.

The most popular member of royalty in searches was, surprisingly, not the new king Willem-Alexander: he came in second. It was in fact Kate Middleton.

Popular culture searches

In entertainment, people looked most for information on Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, while on television it was American sci-fi drama Under the Dome.

The Koningslied, the song written for the coronation of Willem-Alexander, was also a very popular search, due no doubt to the unpopularity of the song.

The most popular public holiday was Queen’s Day, while Efteling was the most searched-for day trip and Songfestival (Eurovision Song Contest) the most searched-for music event.

The most Googled source of news in the Netherlands on the internet is the Telegraaf site, followed by AD and Volkskrant.

The most searched-for shop was Ikea, while BMW was the car more people looked for. As for supermarkets, Albert Heijn was number one, although Lidl gained in popularity.

Strange searches

Some search terms made for interesting reading. The most popular question using how was "how long is pregnancy?," while the most searched question concerning how something works was "how does Tinder work?"

Given Tinder is a dating app, one wonders if the two are linked in any way. Or perhaps it is more relevant to the third and fourth most searched-for TV: Cheat On Me and Divorce.

Then again, the third most Googled image was for Valentine’s Day (after Zwarte Piet and King Willem-Alexander).

The strangest search, however, was probably for "cenosillicafobie" (cenosillicaphobia), the fear of an empty glass, especially a beer glass.

Dutch word of the year 2013

The Dutch word of 2013, announced by dictionary publisher Van Dale, is "selfie," meaning to take a self-portrait with a digital camera, smartphone or tablet an upload it onto the web.

In an interesting coincidence, it is the same word as announced by the British Oxford Dictionary in November, after the frequency of its use in English increased by 17.000 per cent over the past 12 months.

The word itself has been traced to a post on an Australian online forum in 2002.

Van Dale allowed Dutch people to vote on a list of 10 words from November 26 to December 16. In total, 22.000 people cast their votes, with 41 per cent voting for selfie.

Second was "belbos," a forest constructed with the financial proceeds of recycled material collected from mobiles, and third was "geefkast," a box in a public place where people can leave things to be taken freely by others.

Dutch top 10 most popular search terms

1. Facebook
2. Marktplaats
3. YouTube
4. Hotmail
5. Google
6. Buienradar
7. Telegraaf
8. ING
10. Rabobank

Sources: Parool, Volkskrant, The Guardian

Alexandra Gowling


Alexandra Gowling

Alexandra is an Australian citizen and an experienced expat, having spent (quite a bit of) time in Asia before coming to the Netherlands a year ago. She enjoys writing, reading...

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