BP oil spill swamps Yahoo search engine in 2010

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - It took a man-made disaster to topple a celebrity from the topspot on Yahoo Inc.'s annual list of most popular searchrequests.

BP PLC's massive oil spill in the Gulf Coast drew the mostinterest among the tens of millions of people that used Yahoo'ssearch engine during 2010. The Internet company released its top 10rankings Tuesday.

Michael Jackson was Yahoo's most requested subject in 2009, theyear that the entertainer's death stunned the world. BritneySpears, another star-crossed singer, held the No. 1 position onYahoo's search list from 2005 through 2008.

After falling to No. 5 last year, Spears dropped to No. 10 onYahoo's list this year.

Although Yahoo's search engine is the second most used on theWeb, it's not the best barometer of people's online interests.That's because Google fields billions more search requests thanYahoo, Microsoft Corp.'s Bing and AOL Inc. combined.

Bing and AOL released their top searches earlier this week, withreality TV star Kim Kardashian topping Bing's list and golfer TigerWoods leading the pack of celebrities at AOL. Kardashian came infourth on Yahoo's list and seventh in AOL's celebrity rankings;Woods was third on Bing and didn't appear among Yahoo's Top 10.

Google doesn't plan to break down its top searches until laterin December so it can get an even better handle on what piqued Websurfers' curiosity this year.

As usual, pop culture dominated the rest of Yahoo's Top 10.Other celebrities on Yahoo's list included teen singer and actressMiley Cyrus (No. 3), singer Lady Gaga (No. 5), actress Megan Fox(No. 7), teen heartthrob Justin Bieber (No. 8) and TV's top-ratedshow, the American Idol talent competition (No. 9).

Soccer's World Cup, which drew huge crowds and televisionaudiences in June, grabbed the second spot on Yahoo's list whileApple Inc.'s most hot-selling gadget, the iPhone, came insixth.


On The Web:

Yahoo's list: http://yearinreview.yahoo.com

Bing's list: http://bit.ly/fqO6jy

AOL's list: http://about-search.aol.com/hotsearches2010/index.html