Nelson Mandela trumps Apple iPhone 5S and Paul Walker to Google's most searched in 2013 crown

The world's most searched for term on Google in 2013 was Nelson Mandela, topping a list made up of entries that have experienced the largest increase in traffic compared to last year.

The death of the former South African president and anti-apartheid leader on 5 December caused a surge of searches for Mandela on the search engine as people all over the world sought to find out more about his life, death and legacy.

The deaths of Fast and the Furious star Paul Walker and Glee actor Cory Monteith were also among the top ten of the most searched for terms, alongside the Harlem Shake, the royal baby, the Boston bombings, the Samsung Galaxy 4, the iPhone 5, the Playstation 4 and North Korea.

"It's a useful snapshot of what people are thinking, and it is our biggest one yet. We've been doing it for 13 years and now we're including 72 countries," Google's Laurian Clemence told the BBC. "It just shows you what people are interested in, what makes them tick, what they're looking for, and it shows you where the world is going."

Many of the terms featured on Google's list also appeared in Twitter's end-of-year roundup. The social network's report came out before Mandela's death, but tweets regarding the deaths of Walker and Monteith were the two most retweeted worldwide.

The most searched for term in 2013 in the UK, which wasn't based on increased traffic compared to 2012, was Facebook. The second most searched for term was Youtube, followed by Google itself.

Google also compiled a "what is" list. This examines what questions people are asking the search engine. "What is Facebook" topped this list, followed by "What is love". People also asked "What is cancer", "What is energy" and "What is the minimum wage".