2005 in Review: The Year’s Top Search Terms

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

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

Search Headlines

NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication’s search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.

For papers, classified ad story gripping: Internet sites gaining, but papers own some
TMCnet.com Dec 25 2005 8:05PM GMT
Entertainment, Technology and Hurricanes Dominate the 2005 Blogosphere, According to Intelliseek’s BlogPulse.c
SYS-CON Media Dec 25 2005 7:10PM GMT
Google Agrees to Limit Resolution of Israel Satellite Photos
Israel National News Dec 25 2005 4:42PM GMT
Bruce Akhurst Sensis’ CEO says search engines should be about commerciality as well as promoting local busines
Asiamoney sub Dec 25 2005 7:03AM GMT
Blinkx.tv comes to iPods and portable video players
iApplianceWeb Dec 24 2005 7:39PM GMT
Press releases – a way to help you improve your search engine rankings
Lockergnome Dec 24 2005 6:20PM GMT
Meta Data is Mega Important in 2006
iMedia Connection Dec 24 2005 1:28PM GMT
The Seven Principles of Effective Online Ads
iMedia Connection Dec 24 2005 1:27PM GMT
Google Still Atop Search Engine Roost
MarketingVOX Dec 24 2005 9:27AM GMT
Google AdSense for Domains and Poor Traffic
Search Engine Journal Dec 24 2005 5:28AM GMT
Best SEO Blog of 2005 : Best Search Blog Awards
Search Engine Journal Dec 24 2005 5:24AM GMT
MSN plans to cash in on online ads boom
Hindu Business Line Dec 24 2005 1:52AM GMT
SEO Copy
Search Engine Guide Dec 23 2005 11:02PM GMT
Google’s deal with AOL could create new search advertising options
InternetRetailer.com Dec 23 2005 3:32PM GMT
AOL Stake Could Boost Google’s Video Search Capabilities
Morningstar.com Dec 22 2005 9:07PM GMT

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