Weekly Yahoo! Search Trends – August 25, 2011

Yahoo! aggregates the billions of searches performed across Yahoo! properties to give the pulse on what people are thinking and talking about. Searches represent the people, an instant poll every moment of the day, looking into the fleeting moods and entrenched attitudes of Internet users across the world. Each week Yahoo! Web Life Editor Heather Cabot explores these trends on local and national broadcast. This week natural occurrences are on top of mind for searches with a hurricane baring down on the east coast and a rare earthquake hitting Virginia. Back to school is buzzing and celebrity breakup rumors spurred a lot of Web interest.

Earthquakes Shake The Web
Natural disasters rank high in the minds of web users this week with multiple earthquakes rattling parts of the US plus Hurricane Irene on the horizon. After that rare quake hit the east coast on Tuesday, searches for earthquakes shot up nearly 10,000% on Yahoo! this week.  And when Colorado and the Bay Area felt tremors of their own, we saw even more look ups for what causes earthquakes.

The temblors spurred people to look up tsunamis and the latest info on the deadly earthquake that struck Japan back in March. Those queries jumped more than 1100%this week.

Not surprisingly, some of the anxiety about the quakes here this week set off a frenzy of end of the world twenty-twelve searches.

Hurricane Irene
With hurricane Irene moving closer to shore, the top states tracking the storm online remain North Carolina, Florida and South Carolina, although we’re seeing lots of interest from the northeast, as well.  As weather forecasters try to predict Irene’s path, lots of people are turning to the web to find out how best to hunker down.  Searches for hurricane preparedness, disaster kits and checklists are all trending up right now. Searches for the "latest on hurricane Irene" are up 433% today on Yahoo! and searches for "hurricane preparedness checklist" are up 128% with women aged 45-54 leading the searches for "hurricane preparedness."

Top Searched Natural Disaster Questions:

  1. Where is hurricane Irene?
  2. How to prepare for a hurricane?
  3. What causes earthquakes?

Celebrity Breakups
Celebrity break-ups were big this week, as Will and Jada fended off rumors of divorce and the talk host Sara Gilbert split from her longtime partner. Also, JLo and Marc Anthony are still getting buzz online. Will and Jada are going strong but searches were rampant on the web: searches were up nearly 300% for Will Smith and searches for Jada are up 137%. Some of the questions being searched: Did Will & Jada divorce?, Did Will & Jada split? Does Will Smith have an open marriage?

-Yahoo! Search Trends Team