Politics and Financial Crisis Dominated the Year in Search

Obama was on the minds of the U.S. in terms of search in 2008, according to Google. But the fastest-rising search term for Google’s global results in its Zeitgeist was Sarah Palin. That’s what’s listed in this year’s top search term recaps from Google, Yahoo, AOL, Ask.com, and Lycos. The election weighed heavily in several categories including fastest rising, overall searches, influential women, and top news stories.

The financial bailout ranked high on search, too. On Google people searched for “financial crisis,” “bailout,” and “mortgage crisis,” while Yahoo saw top economic terms such as “oil prices,” “gold prices,” and “Sallie Mae.” AOL visitors looked for financial terms “Wachovia,” “Washington Mutual,” “Merrill Lynch,” and “AIG,” among others. The top news stories on Lycos related to the economic collapse and bailout, though stories of the death of actor Heath Ledger, and the Eliot Spitzer scandal were also popular.

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