December 01, 2010, 9:47 AM — America's obsession with celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga will never go away, but at least this year we made room for more pressing matters, like the BP oil spill, according to Yahoo's year-end search review.
Every winter, Yahoo tugs on our sleeve and hands over a list of the year's hottest searches. Even though Yahoo isn't at the top of the search game -- by some measurements it's behind Bing as well as Google - the results tend to be more culture and news-oriented than Google's yearly Zeitgeist results, which aren't available for 2010 yet.
[ See also: Move over Google Labs...Yahoo! is here ]
Here's a look at the hottest searches in 2010, according to Yahoo, plus a list of the most searched-for gadgets:
1. BP Oil Spill: Not only was this a major, drawn-out story, but it had a generally agreed-upon search term and a "spill cam" to keep people coming back.
2. World Cup: A huge event that also spurred interest in South African culture and, of course, the dreaded vuvuzela. Searches related to the Olympics weren't nearly as popular.
3. Miley Cyrus: As the Disney-backed pop star entered adulthood, fans were curious to see how she'd make the transition, explains Vera Chan, senior editor and Web trend analyst for Yahoo.
4. Kim Kardashian: She's taken Paris Hilton's place as the "celebutante" du jour, and is much more savvy about building a brand around herself, Chan notes.
7. Megan Fox: If she were just another sultry movie star, she'd be one among many, but Fox knows how to play the media and keep herself in the news with bombshell quotes and anecdotes.