Yahoo!’s 2009 Year in Review Reflects America’s Need to Escape and to Cope

Yahoo! Inc.  announced its 2009 Year in Review, which highlights the top Searches and trends on Yahoo!. The annual review, which accounts for billions of Searches, is a distinct way to look at people’s interests and to identify the ways they use the Web to find information and breaking news as it happens.

In 2009, the Web was an integral part of the news cycle as people rushed online to get updates about topics as diverse as the economy, foreclosures, Michael Jackson, unemployment, “Jon & Kate Plus 8,” and health care. And Yahoo! was the No. 1 ranked destination for people to get information that mattered to them most, whether they got the information from their computers or their mobile phones.

As the recession entered its second year, we saw old-fashioned thrift become a necessity, as those lucky enough to have jobs and homes scrimped, saved, and “stay-cationed”. People rolled up their sleeves and dug in to shift from crisis to survival, and went online to make sense of the seeming chaos around them by tracking stories (and welcoming distractions) throughout the year.

“We saw consumers escape to the Web hoping to pursue news and their guilty pleasures: vampires, political implosions, how to moonwalk — you name it, people went online to find it,” said Vera Chan, a Yahoo! Search trend analyst. “And with economic uncertainty looming, people looked for ways to find stability by searching the Web for new jobs, unemployment benefits, and ways to save through old-fashioned coupon hunting.”

The King of Pop knocked the pop princess off her Search perch in 2009. Britney Spears — who dominated Yahoo!’s Top 10 Overall Searches for the past four years —dropped from the No. 1 position to No. 5 this year, behind Michael Jackson, the book and film series “Twilight,” World Wrestling Entertainment, and rising star Megan Fox. Michael Jackson’s death broke many records on Yahoo!. His memorial was the single most streamed event in Yahoo!’s history, with five million total streams. The popularity of “Twilight” hit an all-time high in 2009 — with every "Twilight" book, DVD, and soundtrack release; and with every piece of cast gossip, massive numbers of "Twilighters" went online to search for more.


Top 10 Overall Searches for 2009

  1. Michael Jackson
  2. Twilight
  3. WWE
  4. Megan Fox
  5. Britney Spears
  6. Naruto
  7. American Idol
  8. Kim Kardashian
  10. Runescape

More than ever before, people used mobile devices to discover new
things, stay connected to people they care about and stay informed — all
while on the go. Mobile devices emerged as essential and indispensable
to the lives of many Americans.

Top 10 Yahoo! Mobile Searches for 2009

  1. Megan Fox
  2. Mobile Games
  3. Michael Jackson
  4. Movies
  5. Rihanna
  6. Mail
  7. Lady Gaga
  8. NFL
  9. Ringtones
  10. iPhone

As the unsteady U.S. economy continued to dominate national headlines in
2009, Americans scoured the Web for anything related to finding new
jobs, going back to school, saving money, and learning how to start
their own businesses. President Obama’s stimulus plan caused many people
to ask questions and turn to the Web for answers. And strong interest in
Bernard Madoff’s


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