The Year in Search

December 20, 2009

As the end of the year rolls around, I find it interesting to look at the things people have been searching for on the web. Each search engine has their own list, so let’s take a look at the data for 2009.

Google:

1. michael jackson
2. facebook
3. tuenti
4. twitter
5. sanalika
6. new moon
7. lady gaga
8. windows 7
9. dantri.com.vn
10. torpedo gratis

Yahoo!:

1. Michael Jackson
2. Twilight
3. WWE
4. Megan Fox
5. Britney Spears
6. Naruto
7. American Idol
8. Kim Kardashian
9. NASCAR
10. Runescape

Bing:

1. Michael Jackson
2. Twitter
3. Swine Flu
4. Stock Market
5. Farrah Fawcett
6. Patrick Swayze
7. Cash for Clunkers
8. Jon and Kate Gosselin
9. Billy Mays
10. Jaycee Dugard

The first thing that jumps out at me in this data is that the only item that transcended all three lists was Michael Jackson. Certainly part of this is the methodology that the search engines are using to tabulate this data, and all of them are using “trending” topics. As you might guess, searches for things like Youtube or pornography are going to have relatively consistent growth on a year to¬† year basis.

The terms that made two lists were Twitter and Twilight/New Moon. It is certainly remarkable the growth that Twitter has had this year. It has certainly created a lot of public awareness in a short time. It will interesting to see if it remains a trend in 2010.

One interesting difference between the Google and Bing lists are the number of tech-related searches on Google versus the number of “obituary”-related searches on Bing. Bing has four celebrities who had died in the past year on its list while Google has arguably 7 different technology related results. TechCrunch Europe has an interesting entry on why Sanalika appears. Tuenti is the Spanish version of Facebook. Dantri.com.vm is a Vietnamese newspaper. Torpedo Gratis is a Portuguese site that allows you to send free text messages.

One thing you can certainly take from Google’s list is it’s international appeal. Techcrunch also argues that most international users will simply use Google over the address bar or bookmarks to get to particular websites.

Are there any interesting trends or notes that you’ve spotted? Let me know in the comments.


Making Craigslist Look Good

October 31, 2009

Craigslist.org is a very useful site that a lot of you are probably already familiar with it. It’s how I got my apartment and a lot of my friends and colleagues have done the same. My major problem with the site is the design. It’s about as interesting as the newspaper Classified ads that’s it is replacing. The really sad thing is that it doesn’t have to be that way.

Check out Craiglook.com. Using only the data that is already on the Craigslist site, you get a much more easily usable way to search for the types of ads that you are looking for. A few navigation tips though, the front page looks like it has check boxes, but they are actually links, so I would either use the text entry at the top or click through the category first. This minor hiccup, however, does not prevent the site from being a big improvement over the Craigslist site itself.

Makeuseof.com also had a few useful Craigslist tools that I would like to mention. The first is one I’ve mentioned before on the blog is called Typobuddy. This little site will check Craigslist (and eBay) for common typos and misspellings to see if it can find additional listing that may not have gotten much attention. This is a sneaky way to get a little more value for your search time.

The last site I want to point out is Weekend Treasure.com. This site uses Craigslist and other listings to help you find garage and yard sales that are happening in your area. Simply type in your zip code and a series of pins will pop-up on a Google map for you to check out. This makes it a very simple, but very slick tool for finding potential bargains.

Do you have other ways of getting the most from Craigslist? Let me know in the comments.