War talk has sent Internet users searching for information, as evidenced by both The Lycos 50 for the week ending March 22, 2003 and the Yahoo Buzz Index of the 20 leaders for the week ending March 23, 2003, with some new entries emerging on both lists.
References to the Persian Gulf and the war ranked highly on both lists, with “Iraq” moving up from number 42 to number 1 on the Yahoo index, while the more specific term, “Baghdad” debuted at number 29 on the Lycos list. “War on Iraq” rose up from number 16 to number 2 on the Lycos 50, and it appeared for the first time at number 12 on Yahoo.
America’s preoccupation with the details of the war is further evidenced by these related searches:
- More Internet users were interested in information about “Saddam Hussein” than “George W. Bush.” The Iraqi leader debuted at number 4 on Lycos and number 9 on Yahoo, while the President drew the 25th spot and 10th spot, respectively.
- “U.S. Army” marched onto the Lycos list to rank 30th.
- “Al-Jazeera” showed up at number 40 on the Lycos list.
- “MOAB Bomb” dropped one spot to number 42 on the Lycos 50.
- The “Dixie Chicks” went from country to controversy, claiming the number 3 spot on the Yahoo index and number 8 on Lycos.
Sports and entertainment related searches claimed more spots than other newsworthy events. “NCAA Basketball” ranked first for the Lycos searchers, and showed up in the 4the spot on the Yahoo Index. Following on Lycos were: “NASCAR” at number 11; “NIT” at 17; “NFL” at number 26; “WWE” at 31; and “NBA” at 45.
Searchers on both lists showed high interest in “KaZaA,” rappers “50 Cent” and “Eminem,” talent show “American Idol,” “Jennifer Lopez,” and the “Academy Awards.” “Elizabeth Smart,” “Mortgage Rates,” and “IRS” rounded out both lists.
Absent from Yahoo, but prominent on Lycos were: “Dragonball,” “Tattoos,” “Prom Dresses,” “Yu-Gi-Oh!,” “Britney Spears,” “Earthviewer,” and “Las Vegas.” The Yahoo Index counted “Linkin Park,” “R. Kelly,” and “Avril Lavigne” among the ranks, while Lycos didn’t.
Check out how the search terms have changed over time:
Touchdowns, Taxes, and Tragedy
Searches Mostly Entertainment-Related
Virus Becomes Most Popular
Debut of a Salesman
Dragonball Rolls Into First Place
World Cup Kicks Star Wars Out of Space
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