Yahoo has announced the Top Trends in Search, as told through the billions of searches in 2007 conducted by millions of Yahoo! searchers around the globe. Yahoo!’s Top Trends in Search reveals a portrait of a culture on the brink of political breakaways, celebrity breakdowns, technological breakthroughs, environmental action, sporting errors and final farewells to popular icons.
“Searches can give us insight into a culture in motion and Yahoo!’s Top Trends in Search in 2007 reflects the world’s fascination with crossroads and breakthroughs. People weren’t just buzzing about celebrity. More than ever they sought to be environmentally responsible, were using the Web to find out about food and product safety and getting the scoop on the latest gadgets,” said Heather Cabot, Yahoo! Web Life Editor.
This year, the availability of footage of Saddam Hussein’s final moments caused searches for him to soar making the late Iraqi leader the most searched figure in the news of 2007. In addition, the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan propelled buzz throughout the year. With the ongoing diplomatic situation with Iran and visit from the Iranian president, Yahoo! users searched for more information on Iran than Iraq this year. Among the Presidential hopefuls, who embraced the Web in larger numbers this year, Democratic contenders Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton once again drummed up a large number of searches.
2007 may go down as the year people stopped talking about the climate crisis and actually did something about it. Yahoo! Searches found that people searched for ways to help the environment, on a global and personal level. Al Gore’s, “An Inconvenient Truth,” won an Academy Award and brought global warming to the fore-front. Also, “Freecycle.org,” a social networking approach to local recycling, emerged as a hit to consumers that sought to exchange used goods in their neighborhoods. 2007 saw searches about global warming and energy-saving cars reach their highest levels ever.
This year, Yahoo! searches kept up with the twists and turns of troubled Hollywood stars with Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Anna Nicole Smith at the top. Traffic violations drove socialites Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie to jail, and Lindsay Lohan went to rehab numerous times. The story of Anna Nicole Smith and her unexpected death resulted in a great spike in searches and Vanessa Ann Hudgens, the Disney star of “High School Musical”, became even more popular following her photo scandal.
In 2007, a cell phone had people camping on the doorsteps of local wireless stores. Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs, introduced the iPhone at MacWorld in January. From that moment on, searches on Yahoo! soared as people clamored for the latest gadget from the company who also brought us the infamous iPod. Nintendo’s Wii had a similarly seductive quality. The game console debuted in late 2006, amidst predictions of a stiff competition from the Sony PlayStation 3 and the new Xbox. However, gadgets and games weren’t the only things pushing tech to its limits – 2007 was also the year that presidential candidates en masse appealed to their citizenry through the Internet. Technology wasn’t so much breaking new ground, as it was entering into a new maturity.
Creativity and creation marked the 2007 searches on social search and bookmarking site, del.icio.us , which serves as the “shared Web memory” for millions of technologists, librarians, journalists, and others who enjoy staying on the cutting edge of what’s new and interesting in technology and society. The pursuit of design took the top spot among the millions of del.icio.us users, who shared and tagged Web pages and articles on how to groom a website and tinker with typography for maximum effect.
In early spring of 2007, reports of poisoned dog food spurred frantic searches about the pet food recall. For weeks, pet owners examined every brand of food to gauge its safety, and some resorted back to homemade recipes just as a precaution. Toy recalls, bearing the likeness of Thomas the Tank Engine and Fisher Price, suddenly spiked in searches due to the discovery of lead based paint in their products. Ultimately, the commanding search of food safety-related searches such as Menu Foods, E. coli, and Topps, surged to the top in an effort to stay informed. As companies’ spot-testing measures and governmental agreements worked to restore consumer confidence, searches of these issues and additional recall announcements continued.
This year, kids ages 7-12 showed their environmental consciousness as they searched on topics of global proportions and endangered animals. Global warming was among 2007’s top 10 searches on Yahoo! Kids. Although math topped the list of the most-searched school subject, science was also popular, with related searches on dinosaurs and the solar system remained high on the list among both boys and girls.
2007 featured several buzz-worthy sports searches, with Nascar at number one, continuing to be an American favorite. Searches showed that Maria Sharapova was very hot this year, and Serena Williams’ triumph in the Australian open after a series of injuries made her a favorite of Yahoo! searchers. In a final ode to joy, the Boston Red Sox capped the year with a fantastic finish to the baseball season.