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What were the most popular Google searches in Costa Rica in 2013?

The most popular Google trends of the year in Costa Rica showed an affection for viral videos and a morbid interest in celebrity deaths — just like the rest of the world. 

Trends are defined as searches that saw the biggest increase between 2012 and 2013. Google released the Tico trending topics in mid-December as part of its annual Zeitgeist charts. The viral hit El Pollito Pío (“The cheeping chicken”) topped the list here. It’s essentially an animated version of “Old McDonald Had a Farm” version with an uglier twist at the end. The tractor on the farm goes “bruum bruum” over the cheeping chicken. That example of not-so-sublime entertainment garnered more than 300 million views worldwide.  


Searches for the current events topic Corea del Norte (“North Korea”) finished second. “Minions”, a type of character from the movie “Mi Villano Favorito 2” (“Despicable Me 2”), placed third. “Mi Villano Favorito 2” was the most Googled movie of 2013 in Costa Rica, just beating out Iron Man 3.

Three stars who died premature deaths in 2013 also made the list. They were 31-year-old Glee star Cory Monteith (No. 4; drug overdose), 41-year-old Mexican soap opera actress Karla Álvarez (No. 6; respiratory failure) and 58-year-old Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez (No. 10; cancer). 

Monteith and the Harlem Shake (no. 8), a series of fleetingly amusing dance videos, finished in the top 10 of Costa Rica Google searches and global searches. (The global list was topped by South Africa’s first black president Nelson Mandela and movie star Paul Walker — two more personalities who died in 2013).


The most popular How To search was “How to braid your hair” (perhaps inspired by the hero of the Hunger Games series). The list also featured “How to lose weight”, “How to learn English”, and “How to kiss”. There’s no shame in the last one, which also made the last of global “how to” searches. Everybody on the Internet wants to learn the secret to smooching.

The “What is…” searches appeared more eclectic. Some seemed based in hypochondria, others were downright philosophical. Topping the list in Costa Rica was the question: “What is LOL?” – Internet shorthand for “laughing out loud”. Other searches asked “What is hemophilia?”, “What is lupus?”, “What is bullying?”, “What is sexuality?” and “What is democracy?”. Finishing sixth on the list was the very meta question, “What is the Internet?”

Lea Michele, Monteith’s girlfriend and Glee co-star, was the most Googled musical act in Costa Rica. She finished just ahead of metal pioneers Black Sabbath (who toured Costa Rica in November) and Tica pop star Debi Nova.

Facebook and YouTube led the list for most popular websites in Costa Rica. The always helpful Google Translate site landed at No. 6.

The overall most popular searches of the year (not trends) included Christian music, funny videos, horoscopes, song lyrics and Disney. 

Most Popular Trends of 2013

1. El Pollito Pío

2. Corea del Norte (“North Korea”)

3. Minions 

4. Cory Monteith

5. Miss Universo 2013 (“Miss Universe 2013”)

6. Karla Álvarez

7. Radios en vivo (“Streaming radio”)

8. Harlem Shake

9. Juegos Centroamericanos (“Central American Games”)

10. Hugo Chávez

Cómo… (“How to…”) searches

1. Cómo hacer trenzas (“How to make a braid”)

2. Cómo sacar porcentajes (“How to take percentages”)

3. Cómo pintar uñas (“How to paint your nails”)

4. Cómo besar (“How to kiss”)

5. Cómo adelgazar (“How to lose weight“)

6. Cómo llegar (“How to get to…”)

7. Cómo aprender inglés (“How to learn English”)

8. Cómo maquillarse (“How to put on make-up)

9. Cómo actualizar android (“How to update an Android phone”)

10. Cómo tocar guitarra (“How to play guitar”)

Qué es… (“What is…?”) searches

1. Qué es LOL (“What is LOL*?”)

2. Qué es ciencia (“What is science?”)

3. Qué hora es (“What time is it?”)

4. Qué es hemofilia (“What is hemophilia?”)

5. Qué es XD (“What is XD**?”)

6. Qué es Internet (“What is the Internet?”)

7. Qué es sexualidad (“What is sexuality?”)

8. Qué es bullying (“What is bullying?”)

8. Qué es lupus (“What is lupus?”)

10. Qué es democracia (“What is democracy***?”)

*Laughing out loud

**A sideways face that’s laughing. 

***Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms


1. Facebook

2. YouTube

3. Hotmail

4. Google

5. Gmail

6. Google Translate

7. CRAutos

8. Yahoo

9. Amazon

10. La Nación

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