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Virus Becomes Most Popular

  |  August 22, 2002   |  Comments

Internet users were busy searching for a virus last week, but not the kind that infiltrates computers. "West Nile Virus" took the top spot in a list of the most popular search terms.

Internet users were busy searching for a virus last week, but not the kind that infiltrates computers. The mosquito-borne "West Nile Virus" took the top spot on the Terra Lycos list of the 50 most popular search terms, as more instances of the illness emerged in the United States. The virus rolled "Dragonball" out of first place, a term that ranked number one for six of the last seven weeks.

The rest of the popular top five for the week ending August 17, 2002 – "KaZaA," "Tattoos," and "Britney Spears" – all dropped down a notch as "West Nile" rose to the top. Top movers on the list are:

  • "Elvis Presley" rose from number 50 to number 6, as Internet users searched for the King on the anniversary week of his death. Family ties made "Cage-Presley Wedding" a new entry at number 42.
  • "Anna Kournikova," a Lycos 50 favorite, catapulted from the twentieth to the seventh position, as the latest issue of FHM declares her the sexiest woman alive. "Jill Arrington" appeared in the same issue of the magazine, propelling her onto the list at number 48.
  • Procrastinators were responsible for moving "IRS" up the list from number 36 to number 15, as automatic 4-month extensions of the April deadline expired on August 15.
  • "Anna Nicole Smith's" popularity deflated somewhat, changing her rank from number five to number 23.
  • "PGA Championship" swings onto the list at number 29, and "Perseid Meteor Shower" debuts at number 31.
  • "Ginger Lynn," an adult entertainment star, debuted at number 41 on the list of popular searches. While Lycos doesn't normally include actresses in this genre, her E! True Hollywood Story prompted 12 times as many searches as normal.
  • 9021-uh-oh star "Jason Priestley" just made it onto the list at number 50 when he suffered injuries from a racing car crash. He is expected to fully recover.

Lycos noted that some recently popular terms were no longer on the list. "Star Wars" vanished after 22 weeks, and "Napster," "Sailor Moon," "Spirit Airlines," "Crop Circles," "Jennifer Walcott," and "No Calls Please" were not among the top 50.

Lycos 50 for the week ending August 17, 2002
Current
Position
Search
Term
Last Week's
Position
1 West Nile Virus #6
2 Dragonball #1
3 KaZaA #2
4 Tattoos #3
5 Britney Spears #4
6 Elvis Presley #50
7 Anna Kournikova #20
8 NFL #9
9 Vin Diesel #12
10 Las Vegas #7
11 Lord of the Rings #10
12 Fantasy Football #11
13 Pamela Anderson #13
14 Big Brother #19
15 IRS #36
16 NASCAR #14
17 American Idol #17
18 Golf #22
19 Eminem #21
20 Final Fantasy #18
21 Yu-Gi-Oh! #23
22 The Bible #24
23 Anna Nicole Smith #5
24 Avril Lavigne #16
25 Shakira #29
26 Baseball #25
27 Morpheus #28
28 Harry Potter #15
29 PGA Championship New
30 WWE #26
31 Perseid Meteor Shower New
32 Brooke Burke #27
33 Mortgage Rates #35
34 Marijuana #32
35 Grand Theft Auto 3 #30
36 Neopets #33
37 Jennifer Lopez #34
38 Pokemon #44
39 Barbie #42
40 Playstation 2 #41
41 Ginger Lynn New
42 Cage-Presley Wedding New
43 The Sims #38
44 Nelly #40
45 WinMX #45
46 Atkins Diet #48
47 Diets New
48 Jill Arrington New
49 Spider-Man #39
50 Jason Priestley New
Source: Terra Lycos

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