The power of Baauer: 'Harlem Shake' tops 2013 Google search list

The power of Baauer: 'Harlem Shake' tops 2013 Google search list
Baauer, whose hit "Harlem Shake" led Google's most-searched song list for 2013, performed at April's Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Few year-end culture lists can inspire more morning-after regret than the ones that provide snapshots of things we've done on the Internet. Remember the day, for instance, your coworkers caught you watching local firehouses doing the "Harlem Shake"? The good news is you weren't alone, as Google this week released its most searched-for song list, and early year relic "Harlem Shake" tops it.

A collection of moments that make up the last 12 months, Baauer's video sensation enjoyed its peak search month in March,  and has steadily fallen since. Its interest today, for instance, is nearly nil.


Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" came in at No. 2, a climb up the Google search chart that began around the time of her MTV VMA appearance; it peaked in October. That's about a month after the release of the song's official video, which featured a mostly nude Cyrus swinging around an iron ball with a sledgehammer.

Google's stats measure global interest from 72 countries. And just because we spent time watching something doesn't mean we purchased it. Baauer's "Harlem Shake," for instance, was not in the top 15 of Apple's bestselling digital downloads on iTunes this year. That was topped by "Thrift Shop" from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, No. 3 on Google's song list.

Rounding out the top 5 of Google's song list is Lorde's "Royals," which has been steadily picking up steam throughout the year, and Adele's "Skyfall." Adele's Bond song -- tied into the late 2012 film -- generated most interest in the lead-up to this year's Oscar ceremony in February.

But there's a lot more to peruse in Google's year-end data collection than the most-searched-for songs. The search giant has lists for the most searched concerts -- Thirty Seconds to Mars, which you likely didn't see coming -- and song lyrics ("Thrift Shop").

Below, the top 10 most-searched songs in 2013:

1. Baauer's "Harlem Shake"
2. Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball"
3. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Thrift Shop"
4. Lorde's "Royals"
5. Adele's "Skyfall"
6. Jay Z's "Tom Ford"
7. Jay Z's "Holy Grail"
8. Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines"
9. Katy Perry's "Roar"
10. Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive"