2001, Yahoo! has dipped into billions of searches to uncover our audience's
curiosities, interests, and what matters most to them. Unlike editorial
retrospectives or surveys, the rankings come from online users’ own search
behavior. Looking back, these lists truly sketch a society in motion: It's a
unique way to gauge social trends and interests in the year’s top stop stories,
compelling newsmakers, and viral fads.
Take a look back at a dozen years of Top 10s to see how the Web has grown — and
preoccupied readers in 2012.
Osama bin Laden
In the first year of the century, Yahoo released the 20 most popular terms for the first time.
The Yahoo! Buzz Index Top 20 Leaders for 2001:
- PlayStation 2
- Britney Spears
- Dragon Ball Z
- World Trade Center
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
- Dale Earnhardt
- Internal Revenue Service
- Jennifer Lopez
- Las Vegas
- Osama Bin Laden
- Backstreet Boys
- Pamela Anderson
The terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, pushed the term "world trade center" into No. 6. The mastermind, Osama bin Laden, registered at No. 15, followed by Nostradamus, due to a hoax that the 16th-century so-called prophet predicted the events. Searches at the time also underwent an "upswing in patriotism. Searches on anthems, patriotic speeches and songs, and the American flag (26) soared as Americans looked for ways to express their support for their country."
2010: Oil spill, natural disasters, survivor stories
Only once before had a news story taken the No. 1 slot in Top Searches on Yahoo — namely, the death of Michael Jackson. On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, killing 11. As we noted, "The gushing crude took 86 days to cap. The live feed from the ocean floor became must-watch viewing, as massive online scrutiny monitored best (and not so best) efforts to kill the well and stop the worst spill in marine history."
- BP Oil Spill
- World Cup
- Miley Cyrus
- Kim Kardashian
- Lady Gaga
- Megan Fox
- Justin Bieber
- American Idol
- Britney Spears