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AOL Reveals Top Web, Mobile and Video Searches of 2008


Barack Obama, American Idol and Britney Spears Reign on AOL’s Annual Search Trends List

NEW YORK . – The presidential elections dominated user searches this year, according to AOL’s annual lists of top Web, mobile and video searches across more than 40 categories for 2008. But celebrities continued to be hot topics for searchers as well. The rankings are based on the people, places and topics that received the largest volume of Web and mobile search queries on AOL Search,, and on Truveo, AOL’s leading video search engine,

This year, Barack Obama topped the list in the Newsmakers category – in fact, politicians occupied 7 out of the top 10 spots on this category. The presidential election was also the Top Searched News Story, while elections-related videos – including’s “Yes, We Can” video, Paris Hilton’s response to John McCain’s campaign ad, and Barack Obama’s victory speech in Chicago – were among the most searched videos on Truveo.

At the same time, America couldn’t get enough of celebrities and pop culture with searches for Britney Spears, a pregnant man and music videos all among the hottest searches. Mobile consumers took a keen interest in staying social while on the go by tapping MySpace, AIM, MocoSpace and Facebook onto the list of top searches from mobile devices.

“What people are searching for online is a strong reflection of what’s captivating their attention offline and throughout their daily lives,” said John Kannapell, Senior Vice President of AOL Search. “While the economy and the elections grabbed the majority of headlines and consumers’ mindshare this year, America’s continuing obsession with celebrities and pop culture were also clearly evident across Web, mobile and video searches.”

Highlights from this year’s top Web, mobile and video searches include:

Top News Stories: Political and Athletic Juggernauts Rule
This year’s historic “presidential election” was the most searched news story, followed by the Olympics. Bailout came in at No. 3, followed by Hurricane Ike at No. 4 and unemployment at No. 5.

Top Newsmakers: An Agent for Change Tops the List
“Barack Obama” and his path to the White House led him to No. 1 among newsmakers in 2008, with vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin coming in at No. 2. Pregnant Man (No. 3); Hillary Clinton (No. 4) and John McCain (No. 5) rounded out the top 5.

Top Celebrities: Oops, She Did It Again
All eyes were on Britney Spears and her road to personal recovery and professional redemption as she once again topped the list of most-searched celebrities. Trailing behind Britney were Miley Cyrus (No. 2); Kim Kardashian (No. 3); Paris Hilton (No. 4); and Oprah Winfrey (No. 5).

Top Financial Faux Pas: Wall Street On My Mind
With Wall Street’s troubles top of mind, consumers turned to the Web to dig deeper into the companies making headlines including Wachovia (No. 1); Washington Mutual (No. 2); Merrill Lynch (No. 3); AIG (No. 4) and Morgan Stanley (No. 5).

Top TV Shows: American Idol Keeps the Crown
America’s thirst for reality television showed no signs of fading. For the sixth year running, “American Idol” was the most searched television show in 2008, followed by “Dancing with Stars” (No. 2). Rounding out the top five were “Hannah Montana” (No. 3), which moved up a spot from 2007; “The View” (No. 4); and “Lost” (No. 5).

Top “How Tos” Searches
With the U.S. unemployment rate reaching its highest level in five years, it’s no wonder that queries for how to tie a tie (No. 1) and write a resume (No. 2) topped the list. Other top searches included how to draw (No. 3), how to make money (No. 4) and how to lose weight (No. 5).

Top Viral Video Searches from Truveo
Rapper and producer’s celebrity-filled “Yes, We Can” video, a song based on Barack Obama’s New Hampshire speech, topped Truveo’s list of top viral video searches. Other hot viral video searches on Truveo were: “Paris Hilton Responds to John McCain Ad” (No. 2); “Fred Goes Swimming” (No. 3); “Kobe Jumps Over Car” (No. 4); and “Valentina Hasan Sings ‘Ken Lee’” (No. 5).

Top Mobile Searches
More and more people turned to their mobile devices to connect with friends while on the go as the volume of mobile searches continued to grow in 2008. MySpace was the leading mobile search term followed by AIM (No. 2); iPhone (No. 3); MocoSpace (No. 4); and Facebook (No. 5).

Other top searches on AOL Search in 2008,, include:

* Top Search Terms: 1) Dictionary; 2) Weather; 3) Games; 4) Maps; 5) Lyrics; 6) University; 7) Movies; 8) Calendar; 9) Zip Codes; 10) Horoscopes.

* Top Athletes: 1) Danica Patrick; 2) Tiger Woods; 3) Tom Brady; 4) Kimbo Slice; 5) Tony Romo; 6) John Cena; 7) Eli Manning; 8) Brett Favre; 9) Tony Stewart; 10) Serena Williams.

* Top Movies: 1) Juno; 2) High School Musical; 3) The Dark Knight; 4) Iron Man; 5) Indiana Jones; 6) Sex and the City; 7) Jumper; 8) No Country for Old Men; 9) Hancock; 10) Kung Fu Panda.

* Top Musicians: 1) The Jonas Brothers; 2) David Cook; 3) Chris Brown; 4) Mariah Carey; 5) Lil Wayne; 6) Rihanna; 7) Madonna; 8) Amy Winehouse; 9) Beyonce; 10) Taylor Swift.

* Top Celebrity Babies: 1) Harlow Madden; 2) Nahla Aubry; 3) Max Bratman; 4) Max and Emma Anthony; 5) Knox and Vivienne Jolie-Pitt; 6) Maddie Briann Aldridge; 7) Sunday Rose Kidman Urban; 8) Honor Marie Warren; 9) Parker Foster Aiken; 10) Zuma Rossdale.

* Top Diets: 1) Flat Belly Diet; 2) Weight Watchers; 3) Jenny Craig; 4) South Beach Diet; 5) Three-Day Diet; 6) Mediterranean Diet; 7) DASH Diet; 8) Atkins Diet; 9) Medifast Diet; 10) Fat Smash Diet.

* Top Domestic Travel Destinations: 1) Las Vegas; 2) Myrtle Beach; 3) Chicago; 4) Boston; 5) New York; 6) Washington, DC; 7) Niagara Falls; 8) Key West; 9) San Francisco; 10) Atlanta.

* Top International Travel Destinations: 1) Dubai; 2) Australia; 3) London; 4) Aruba; 5) Bermuda; 6) Cancun; 7) Jamaica; 8) Cabo San Lucas; 9) Paris; 10) Punta Cana.

Other top video searches on Truveo,, include:

* Top Music Videos: 1) “Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis; 2) “No Air” by Jordin Sparks featuring Chris Brown; 3) “Whatever You Like” by T.I.; 4) “Womanizer” by Britney Spears; 5) “Disturbia” by Rihanna; 6) “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay; 7) “7 Things” by Miley Cyrus; 8) “Pork and Beans” by Weezer; 9) “Paper Planes” by M.I.A.; 10) “I Kissed A Girl” by Katy Perry.

* Top Live TV Moments: 1) Barack Obama’s victory speech in Chicago; 2) The U.S. men’s swim team winning the 4x100 meter relay in the Beijing Olympics; 3) Saturday Night Live’s Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton parody; 4) The New York Giants game-winning touchdown against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII; 5) David Cook performing “Billie Jean” on American Idol; 6) Mixed martial arts fighter Kimbo Slice losing to Seth Petruzelli; 7) Usain Bolt’s world-record breaking win in the 200 meter track final in the Beijing Olympics; 8) The debut of the Jimmy Kimmel and Ben Affleck music video; 9) Katie Couric’s interview with Sarah Palin; 10) John McCain’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention.

iPhone users also turned to Truveo to search and browse through millions of videos while on the go. Since the launch of Truveo’s free video search application for the iPhone in July,, some of Truveo’s hottest searches on the iPhone include the heartwarming “Christian the Lion” video, Leona Lewis’s “Bleeding Love” music video, and Barack Obama’s victory speech.

For complete lists of AOL Search’s most popular Web and mobile searches across more than 40 categories, please visit To see complete lists and links to Truveo’s most searched Viral Videos, Music Videos and Live TV Moments in 2008 please go to


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