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2005 in Review: The Year's Top Search Terms

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More proof that search engines are not all alike: The most popular search terms of the year varied quite a bit from engine to engine.

Most provided overall popular terms, as well as the most popular search terms in different categories.

On the Ask Jeeves list, President Bush topped news searches, Usher topped celebrity search and music search, Lindsay Lohan was the top picture search, pregnancy was the top health-related query, Star Wars was the top movie search and the NFL topped sport searches.

Meanwhile, Google's year-end Zeitgeist offers numerous rankings in a variety of categories including:

  • World Affairs
  • Nature
  • Movies
  • Celebrities
  • Phenomena

Most categories don't show simple top five or top ten lists like we found on other lists. Instead, you'll see charts
that allow you to see how certain terms did over certain periods of time and tied to specific events. For example, in the Celebrities section you'll see how Britney, Mariah, and Shakira did over the year and tied to events in their lives.

These were the search terms that gained the most in terms of popularity on Google.com this year:

1. Myspace
2. Ares
3. Baidu
4. wikipedia
5. orkut
6. iTunes
7. Sky News
8. World of Warcraft
9. Green Day
10. Leonardo da Vinci

Year-end Zeitgeist's back to 2001 can be found by clicking on the desired year under the "Yearly Archives" header on the right side of this page.

Yahoo's top searches 2005 gives you Yahoo's rundown for tops in web search (Britney Spears), image search (Jessica Simpson) and video search (Britney again). Head over to 2005 Top Searches, and you can drill down by celebrity (and by sex), sports, products, news, entertainment, top movers and some international top lists.

Even though AOL search is powered by Google, its users are quite a different lot. The list of 2005 top searches on AOL Search included:

1. Lottery
2. Horoscopes
3. Tattoos
4. Lyrics
5. Ringtones
6. IRS
7. Jokes
8. American Idol
9. Hairstyles
10. NASCAR

The rest of the AOL page top searches is divided into 20 more categories.

Lycos and A9 also weighed in with top search lists. The Lycos top 100 terms for 2005 also showed last year's rank in parenthesis, allowing you to see which terms were moving up and down in popularity:

1. Paris Hilton (2)
2. Pamela Anderson (8)
3. Britney Spears (4)
4. Poker (10)
5. Dragonball (13)
6. Jennifer Lopez (28)
7. WWE (17)
8. Pokemon (33)
9. Playstation (24)
10. Hurricane Katrina (-)

Amazon's A9 is also a Google-powered service, but they took a different approach, only ranking the top 99 search terms that contain nine letters. These were:

  1. equipment
  2. refinance
  3. furniture
  4. insurance
  5. marketing
  6. wholesale
  7. christian
  8. treatment
  9. corporate
  10. directory

Finally, over at Dogpile, we have an interesting phenomenon—apparently Dogpile users need help finding big name online services! In the Dogpile top 10 searches of 2005, Google is at number 3, eBay at 4, Yahoo at 5, and MapQuest at 6. The full list:

1. Music Lyrics
2. Paris Hilton
3. Google
4. eBay
5. Yahoo
6. Mapquest
7. Games Cheat
8. Games
9. Dogs
10. Top 100 Baby Names

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