Year's top searches center on BP and soccer

Posted by Emma Woollacott

The BP oil spill proved more interesting than any celebrity this year, according to Yahoo's round-up of the top search queries of the year.

People watched the live feed of the oil leak and searched for information on the impact of the spill.

The soccer World Cup was the second-most-searched term, followed by celebrities Miley Cyrus, Kim Kardashian and Lady Gaga. The iPhone sneaks into the list at number six, but then it's back to the slebs again, with Megan Fox, Justing Bieber, American Idol and Britney Spears completing the top ten.

"In 2010 consumers watched the BP disaster unfold like a slow-motion horror film and discovered a love for the ‘other' football," explains Vera Chan, senior editor and Web trend analyst for Yahoo!.

"There was no stopping the meteoric rise of artists like Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber. And a favored Disney star, Miley Cyrus, made the up-and-down transition to adulthood, while Britney Spears seemed to get her life back on track and dropped on the Top 10 list again this year."

Soccer achieved its high place in the rankings through ignorance as much as enthusiasm, says Yahoo. Many queries related to the basic rules of the game - care for an explanation of the off-side rule, anybody? - and many simply wanted to know what the awful noise was (vuvuzelas).

Interestingly, mobile searches showed a very different pattern. Here' the NFL was top, followed by Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Sandra Bullock and the NBA. The World Cup hit sixth place, followed by Justin Bieber, American Idol and the Winter Olympics, with the BP spill in tenth place.

This year, for the first time, Yahoo also released lists for 16 other countries. While reality TV shows dominated many of the lists, Brazil's top three search topics were all football players. The UK top topics showed the country's state of mind very clearly: the lottery, the job center and the weather.