From Olympics to Oil: Yahoo! looks back at top searches


What do the World Cup, the BP Oil Spill and Kim Kardashian have in common? Well, essentially nothing – except for the fact that Americans were seemingly obsessed with all of them this year.

The national sporting event, disaster in the Gulf and curvaceous superstar were three of the most searched items on Yahoo! in 2010, grouped with other newsworthy people and things, like the iPhone 4, Lady Gaga, teen sensation Justin Bieber and reality hit TV show “American Idol.”

The BP oil spill took the top spot on the overall “top searches” list, just one in a collection of searches outlined in the Yahoo! Year in Review report recently released. Other lists include “top searched sporting events,” “top mobile searches on Yahoo!” and “top searched questions.”

The annual report identifies the year’s most popular trends, as gathered from billions of consumer searches. A peek at the various “top 10” lists offer a generalization of worldwide consumer interest: this year, the report shows Internet users were most interested in the Vancouver Winter Olympics, the World Cup and soccer in general, new Apple devices and pop culture icons.

People also turned to the Internet to deal with financial woes, get medical advice and to figure out what to make for dinner. The top financial search this year was “unemployment,” followed by “Wall Street companies,” “recalls” and “foreclosures.” “Pregnancy” and “diabetes” were the most-searched health topics, and users fawned over chicken and Crockpot recipes.

More lighthearted searches, like the “top searched questions” and “top obsessions” lists gave interesting results. Users most needed to know “how to tie a tie,” “how to lose weight” and “how to kiss.” Sadly, rounding up the list at the No. 10 spot was “how to boil an egg.” Really?

Americans were most “obsessed” with the latest iPhone model, Lindsay Lohan, the iPad and “Glee.” “Bedbugs” snagged the No. 7 spot after widespread reports of infestations dominated the news.

This year, the Yahoo! Year in Review also launched in 16 different countries and revealed what the majority of non-U.S. citizens were searching throughout the world. Spain was most interested in “Big Brother 12,” the World Cup and Shakira, while Italy was fascinated by Facebook, games and horoscopes.


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