Associated Press During the recent NHL lockout, Canadian Google searches for the National Football League outpaced those for the NHL for the first time in the search engine’s history.

You can learn a lot about a nation from what its citizens search for on the Internet.

For example, did you know that St. John’s, NL led all Canadian cities in searches for 50 Shades of Grey last year?

For 2013, Metro has asked Google for a look at their Canadian search trends. Every month, we’ll be poring over the data to bring you interesting local and national search-related stories.

Here’s a few that we found for January:

Hockey returns, searchers rejoice!

If you ask Google, one of the biggest stories in January was the return of the NHL. During the lockout, Canadian searches for the National Football League outpaced those for the NHL for the first time in the search engine’s history. However, even though the shortened hockey season began on Jan. 19, NHL-related searches managed to outpace NFL searches by three to one for the month.

Curiously, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Saskatchewan are leading the country in hockey searches in 2013 despite not having local NHL teams. Hockey-stick envy, perhaps?

Searching for the Super Bowl

Although hockey may have returned to its rightful place at the top of Canada’s search heap, Canadians remain very interested in Sunday’s Super Bowl between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers. Google spokesperson Aaron Brindle tells us Canadian searches for the Super Bowl have risen by 480 per cent in the past week alone. And unlike America, where searches for the Ravens and 49ers are in a dead heat, Canadians seem to slightly favour Baltimore.

In related Super Bowl news, it seems Canadian searches for “chicken wings” peak every year at the time of the big game.

Idle No More

The umbrella name for the First Nations-led protests against Bill C-45 is Canada’s fastest rising search term in 2013. Search volume was highest in Manitoba, the province with the proportionally highest Aboriginal population.

Winter blues

Based on Canadian search patterns, it would seem this winter has been a particularly cold and sick season. Searches for warm clothes, including jackets, mittens and boots, were up by 13 per cent compared to last January, and flu-related searches have soared 250 per cent year over year.

With that in mind, it’s not surprising that Canadians are looking to get away from it all. In January, travel-related searches went up 20 per cent since the end of 2012.

Will you be my Valentine?

In 2012, P.E.I., Newfoundland and Saskatchewan showed their romantic side, leading all provinces in terms of Valentine’s Day searches on Google. The provinces at the bottom of the list, including Alberta, Ontario and B.C., subsequently had the highest search rates for the term “I’m sorry.”

However, it seems like lazy lovers in those provinces have learned their lesson. In January, searchers in Alberta, Ontario and B.C. appeared keen to find the perfect way to say “I love you.”

Here comes Honey Boo Boo

The reality star du jour, a foul-mouthed young beauty pageant contestant from Georgia, took Canadian Googlers by storm in 2012. So far this year, Nova Scotia is leading the pack in terms of Honey Boo Boo-related searches, with Manitoba and Alberta close behind.

The top 10 search terms in Canada for January, 2013

  1. Idle No More
  2. Jodie Foster
  3. Lance Armstrong
  4. NHL
  5. Weight Watchers
  6. Job Bank
  7. NFL
  8. Kim Kardashian
  9. Canucks
  10. Sunwing

To find search-related stories about your particular city or province, check out the map below:

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