It’s that time of year again for the major search engines to release their top search queries of the year. Yahoo traditionally goes first, and today’s the day. And once again, people can’t seem to help but type “Britney Spears” into every search box they come across.
The top queries of the year on Yahoo are:
And this year Yahoo is expanding the list to include top ten searches by category. They’ve included Delicious searches (not tags) as well in the list. Delicious users are clearly a more tech savvy and interesting group of people than the population at large, based on their searches. This expanded data is good to have, I think, because it is a very accurate reflection of mass culture, particularly U.S. culture, during the year.
The lists are actually called “top trends in search” because the data is massaged fairly extensively by Yahoo prior to publication. Adult terms are removed, as are some specific brands (Yahoo calls these navigation searches, not true web searches). So some queries are removed, but the list order is not manipulated, the company says.
Look for Google to release their top searches later this month. Last year they were forced to clarify how they come up with the lists after people questioned some of the queries. In their final statement, they said they gave more weight to newer stuff as opposed to the same old popular searches, since they didn’t change much from year to year. I’m glad they do – Britney Spears isn’t on their list.