U.S. election, iPhone 5, Kardashian top Yahoo! 2012 searches

Sun Dec 2, 2012 11:59pm EST
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* Kim Kardashian leads six female celebrities in top 10 searches

* Kate Middleton draws attention from topless scandal, Olympics

By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES, Dec 3 (Reuters) - The U.S. presidential election became the most-searched item and Kim Kardashian was the most-searched person on Yahoo! in a year when online searches were dominated by big news stories and pop culture obsessions, the search engine company said on Monday.

The search term "election" topped the list of searches, led not only by extensive media coverage but also widening conversation on online social media platforms.

The term "political polls" was No. 8 of the top 10 Yahoo! searches of the year.

"The 2012 elections dominated the online searches, which is amazing because if something is in the news, it's already accessible ... people were really saturated by it, but even so, that was a key word that people typed throughout the year," Vera Chan, Yahoo!'s web trend analyst, said in a conference call.

Chan said only two other news stories have topped the list in the past decade, those being the death of Michael Jackson in 2009 and the BP oil spill in 2010.

"iPhone 5" came in at No. 2, which Chan said was interesting "in a post-Steve Jobs era" because while Apple Inc's iPhone has featured regularly in the top searches since the first generation emerged in 2007, this was the first time a specific model had appeared high on the list.   Continued...