Hockey, Britney top Canadian online searches

Britney Spears performs at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards in Las Vegas in this September 9, 2007. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadians were obsessed by the saga of pop star Britney Spears in 2007, according to Yahoo! Canada’s list of top 10 online searches, with her name coming in second only to searches for hockey news.

Rounding out the rest of the top 10 searches were TV show American Idol, WWE (World Wrestling and Entertainment), celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, Revenue Canada, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp, Environment Canada, Paris Hilton and NASCAR.

“It’s fascinating to see what rises to the top but it’s not necessarily an entirely accurate view of what people are interested in online,” said Jonathan Dube, vice president of the Online News Association and director of digital programming at the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

Dube said it’s not surprising that sports, celebrities, weather and lotteries made the list, but he said he was taken aback by the absence in the overall top 10 of searches related to the speedy appreciation of the Canadian dollar in 2007.

Yahoo! Canada also released lists of the most popular searches in categories such as news, entertainment and lifestyle.

In the news category, five of top 10 searches involved politics, with Conservative-turned-Liberal politician and auto-parts heiress Belinda Stronach at No. 1 after a whirlwind year that included her stepping down as a member of Parliament, battling breast cancer and continued rumors about an affair with former Toronto Maple Leafs hockey player Tie Domi.

Last year’s overall top 10 searches included the National Hockey League, FIFA World Cup, American Idol, Rock Star Supernova, WWE, virtual pet Web site Neopets, Revenue Canada, TV soap opera Days of our Lives, Environment Canada and pop star Jessica Simpson.

Reporting by Claire Sibonney; Editing by Peter Galloway