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How to Find the Most Popular Searches on the Web

What are the top searches on the Web?


Zeitgeist - Google island
Daneel Ariantho/Flikr/CC BY 2.0
What are the most popular searches on any given search engine? Many search engines and sites keep track of the top searches on the Web, either in real time or in archived lists that you can use to track trends.

Researching what people are searching for on the Web is a great way to keep up with popular buzz, figure out what people are looking for and give it to them on your blog or website, or heck - it's a fun way to pass the time. Here are just a few of the sites that track what people are searching for:

  • Google Zeitgeist: Google reveals what the top searches are by week, month, and year. Also includes a look at what the most popular searches are in other countries than the United States.
  • Ask.com breaks the searches down by week ending and advancing, top news searches, and if there's a holiday anywhere near, the top searches for that particular week.
  • Yahoo! Buzz Index: Yahoo goes way further than the other two sites already mentioned in its in-depth coverage of the most popular searches, including a "Today's Top Movers" category with clickable links. In addition, top searches are broken down into actors, movies, sports, etc., with constantly updated short articles to the right of the top search chart. This is where I go to get in-depth information fast on the most popular searches in relatively real-time.
  • AOL Hot Searches: Find out what people are searching for in real-time at AOL Search. These are updated every 12 seconds! Also includes links to AOL Buzzline, Top Searches of the year, TV's Top Five, and more.
  • MSN Search Insider: MSN Search throws its' hat into the most popular searches ring; including a list of the Top 200, Duels (you can vote for your favorite to "win" the search race. Cheesy, but kind of fun), and various top media searches.
  • Lycos Top 50: Lycos has been around forever (at least in Internet years) and has a pretty good Most Popular Searches site. Includes Lycos Top 50, Top 50 blog, Top 50 Archives (at this writing all the way back to 1999), and a focus on whatever holiday day or week might be around the corner.
  • Nielsen/Net-Rati ngs: Not so much a "top searches" as a popular searches statistics site. Click on "country", and then click on "web usage data." You'll see interesting little tidbits such as "sessions/visits per person", "duration of a Web page viewed", and "PC time per person." No, it's not as thrilling as seeing which reality TV show is winning the top search race, but it's educational and therefore good for you.
  • Bloglines.com: Read the most popular blogs of the day at Bloglines; you'll be able to see what top searches and Web buzzwords are travelling through the blogosphere here.
  • Technorati: View the front page of Technorati to get a quick glimpse at what people are talking about in real-time; updated very frequently.

The Top Searches By Year

Many search engines and sites put out a yearly list of their top searches throughout the year; it's a nice way to capture a lot of data and see what was trending in a variety of different topics all over the world.

Google's Top Searches By Year

Top Searches All Over the Web

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