January 10, 2008

What you were searching for this year

In what has now become a tradition, leading search engines like Google and Yahoo release a 'what people were searching for' at the end of each year. These lists often give a nice summary of what made the year that has passed memorable, highlights issues and show cases the hottest and most desirable product releases. Google calls these lists 'Zeitgeist', or 'spirit of the times'.

In Australia, the top ten fastest rising searches on Google Australia were: Facebook, YouTube, Summer Heights High, Tiger Airways, iPhone, Rugby World Cup , MySpace, Heroes, Bebo and Transformers. This year however, Google went further and broke searches in to categories like 'Top 10 on TV' or 'Top 10 Celebs'. It's no surprise that Big Brother topped the TV list, while Paris Hilton is the most searched for Celebrity.

Other notes of interest were the Packer wedding that was the most searched for nuptials (including divorces) and lots of interest in social networking like MySpace and Facebook. For more results go to http://www.google.com.au/intl/en/press/zeitgeist2007/index.html

Yahoo's (http://au.docs.yahoo.com/top2007/) most popular search overall was for Britney Spears who also scored the top celebrity search as well. 'Lost' scored the number one slot for top entertainment searches while local show 'Dancing with the Stars' was in the number two spot. The Federal Election was the most popular news search and the top gadget search was the iPod Nano. Other topics that fascinated Australia during 2007, according to Yahoo were the fluctuations in weather, climate change, interest rate increases, Anna Nicole Smith, Bebo (the social networking platform) and the death of Pavarotti.

Both Yahoo and Google calculate their lists by looking at the aggregation of the most popular and fast-rising search queries being typed into the respective search boxes. Regardless of which search engine you prefer they both provide a good measure on what interests the Australian population.