A decade of lists — we’ve come a mighty long way.
The Yahoo! Year in Review returns, with a look at our collective cultural consciousness, as gleaned through a year’s worth of searches. In 2001, we started publishing lists of lists looking who topped the Search charts across various beats like news, sports, games, and overall. (Check out this flashback moment from a 2001 press release.)
But a Top 10 just isn’t enough to see what the world was looking for. In the past few years, we’ve pumped up our analyses to ferret out underlying trends. Plus this year, the Year in Review has expanded to 16 countries.
Enough with the preamble — what riveted us in 2010?
The Transocean oil rig explosion and the resulting spill dominated online activity, making the BP Oil Spill this year’s top search. Many of us were transfixed by that underwater spillcam that showed the best — and not so best — efforts to cap the gushing crude.
The FIFA World Cup ground productivity to a slow crawl, as people went online to cram in not only the rules of the game, but also controversies (that bouncy jabulani ball), and South African traditions (the ever-buzzing vuvuzela).
Pop culture’s leading ladies (including the hyper-theatrical Lady Gaga, new to the list), a gadget that begin with a small “i,” and Web-spun music artist Justin Bieber (also a Top 10 freshman) also made the top slots. And Britney Spears, who has dominated the list in the past decade, held on at No. 10.
- BP oil spill
- World Cup
- Miley Cyrus
- Kim Kardashian
- Lady Gaga
- Megan Fox
- Justin Bieber
- American Idol
10. Britney Spears
The year 2010 was definitely one of extremes: Record heat and floods around the world caused natural disasters, economic turnarounds spurred financial uprisings, and some high-profile firings stirred up ruckus at a time when people are looking for or holding on to jobs.
Another new list this year: 10 Obsessions of 2010 — what couldn’t we get enough of this year? For this list, we looked at both total search volume and the percentage change compared to 2009, and came up with some doozies. Among them: Apple proved its worth as a most valuable company by generating excitement for its iPhone 4 (plus that accidental sneak peek) and that “magical and revolutionary” iPad. Other compulsions that were gnawing at us: Would Lindsay ever have that comeback? How many Silly Bandz can I possibly wear (and make the owner an a millionaire several times over)? And are those bedbugs I see?
- iPhone 4
- Lindsay Lohan
- Jersey Shore
- Tea Party
- Silly Bandz
10. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (series)
For years, people have sought out the answers to life’s questions on Yahoo!. Every Friday and Saturday night, for instance, teens primping for dates try to figure out “how to tie a tie.” Some questions are more plaintive — like the search for love. In 2010, we finally reveal these burning queries, and we give the answers too. Yes, about love.
- How to tie a tie
- How to lose weight
- How to kiss
- How to write a resume
- What's the world's only immortal animal
- Which city has the best tap water
- Which natural disaster shortened earth's days
- What is love
- What causes lightning
- How to boil an egg
If you’re curious to see what others around the globe were pondering, check out a few Year In Review sites:
As for the uber Yahoo! Year in Review, many great engineers, wise analysts, and fine writers took aim at summing up 2010, and seeing what’s up for 2011. Settle down for some good reads.
We’re not done yet either — there will be even more look-backs throughout the month of December as our writers figure out mid-term political moodiness, revisit strange creatures we have loved (we’ll miss you, Paul the octopus), and much much more. Visit often, and get in on the conversation at our Facebook and Twitter pages.
-Vera Chan, senior editor and Web trend analyst for Yahoo!