Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Top 10 Search in Yahoo

Yahoo!'s Top 10 Searches often tell us more about our guilty pleasures, distractions, and obsessions than news headlines do, like this year's continued pursuit of online gaming, reality TV, sports, and starlets. The unexpected death of a troubled legend also drew record Web traffic and tributes.
It's also worth noting who fell off the Top 10 list: In 2008, Barack Obama became the first politician to crack the Top 10. Despite sliding off, he still commanded plenty of online attention in '09—enough to warrant his own list. Here now, the people and events that dominated searches in 2009.
—Vera H-C Chan, Mike Krumboltz
& Claudine Zap, Buzz editors;
Lisa Hix, contributing writer

News that Michael Jackson had been rushed to UCLA Medical Center had just broken when doctors called the King of Pop's death at 2:26 p.m. Within hours, searches on Yahoo! transitioned from "breaking news Michael Jackson" and "is Michael Jackson dead" to "r.i.p. Michael Jackson." The telling query "Elvis died" showed that the icon's shocking, premature death evoked another's.
Although Jackson's death was ruled a case of homicide, that final indignity didn't define his end: A spectacular show of mourning matched his supersized life but reminded onlookers that Jackson had been a son, brother, and a good father. His death took him out of tabloids' tales of scandal and back into the affections of the public, who honored him in costume, music, and film. Jackson had been denied his comeback, but not the spotlight. VC

2. The Twilight Saga

With every "Twilight" book, DVD, and soundtrack release, and every cast appearance at malls across America, mass swooning from "Twilighters" erupted online.
The brainchild of a Mormon housewife, the series centers on high schooler Bella Swan, whose romance with vampire Edward unfolds over four books, each patterned after a literary classic ("Pride and Prejudice," "Wuthering Heights," "Romeo and Juliet," "A Midsummer Night's Dream").
Relative unknowns Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart broke out big as the 2008 film leads. This year's record-making sequel "New Moon" introduced new blood: Buffed-up Taylor Lautner as a teen werewolf vying for Bella's affections and dividing (most female) fans into opposing camps supporting Team Edward or Team Jacob. —VC

3. WWE

World Wrestling Entertainment fights may be staged, but there's nothing fake about its No. 3 search position. WWE fighters love the drama, and fans love to search for the faceoffs, players, and divas, plus all those auxiliary games. The older generation also mourned the passing of Captain Lou Albano, dubbed the "godfather of wrestling."
But not all the drama happened in the ring: CEO Linda McMahon (married to Chairman Vince McMahon) recently resigned her position in order to run as a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Connecticut. No doubt she'll be well-prepared for the fight of her life. That's not the only thing in the works: The family-friendly operation is setting its sights on the PG-rated set. WWE's 2010 goal is to expand its audience to a younger crowd. Its new tag-team partner? Mattel. That pairing should soften up smackdowns.

4. Megan Fox

Like her or not, Megan Fox was one of the biggest stories of 2009. Best known for looking sultry on the red carpet and acting offended when compared to Angelina Jolie, Ms. Fox also made (more) headlines by bashing "Transformers," the film franchise that made her famous.
But then "Jennifer's Body" hit theaters. After the hipster horror flick headlined by Fox tanked at the box office, the oft-ogled starlet changed her tune about the robots in disguise.
Although some question Ms. Fox's ability to sell tickets, nobody can doubt her canny ability to drive searches wild. MK

5. Britney Spears

2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. After a four-year Britney Spears reign, the King of Pop knocked the pop princess off her Search perch—down into the fifth slot for 2009.
The lower ranking reflects her lower (but calmer) profile. In the last couple of years, the singing sensation has been known as much for her antics—her shaved head, breakups, and boyfriends—as for her music.
But this year the comeback kid got serious—and showed her show-biz stuff. The "Circus" tour has gone global, and breakout hits from the album are topping the charts. The blond bombshell can console herself knowing that now that she's got her mojo back, No. 5 is really the new No. 1. C

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