News trumps celebrity in 2010 Web searches

Wed Dec 1, 2010 6:11pm EST
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NEW YORK Dec 1 (Reuters) - News trumped celebrities in 2010 as the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and World Cup soccer in South Africa topped the list of most-searched items of 2010, according to Yahoo!

It is the first time that news came up first since the technology company began publishing its yearly review a decade ago.

Vera Chan, the company's senior editor and web trend analyst, said the BP oil spill was the most searched topic for term for a variety of reasons.

"It became an issue about so many things, such as the environment, energy, workplace disasters and the role of big government. It became a lightning rod for peoples' anxieties," she explained.

The World Cup, on the other hand, was searched for as both a sporting event and a cultural experience.

"People didn't just search for the players and the teams. It was a cultural learning experience. It was the first World Cup in Africa, and people wanted to learn about post-Apartheid South Africa," she said. "People also wanted to find out what that noise was -- the vuvuzelas."

The list, released on Wednesday, identified the top trends, searches and news items from several categories.

All but one of the other top 10 categories reflected public fascination with celebrities. Teen pop sensation Miley Cyrus was in third place in the search rankings and television personality Kim Kardashian was not far behind at fourth place. They were followed by Lady Gaga at No. 5, actress Megan Fox in seventh place, with Justin Bieber, American Idol and Britney Spears completing the top 10.

The iPhone stood out as the exception, coming in sixth.   Continued...