As the year slowly comes to an end, all the major (and minor) search engines are gearing up to release their annual top 10 lists. These tend to be highly sanitized lists packed to the brim with celebrities, news events and TV shows. The first major search engine to release its list this year is Bing. As is typical for these lists, there is little that’s surprising here. Still, this list makes for an interesting look at the zeitgeist of 2011 and the state of mainstream pop culture, even as this annual ritual will likely make you wonder about your contemporaries’ priorities.
It would be nice if the big search engines would just make their uncensored, raw lists of top searches (the ones that include all the misspellings and adult queries) available to researchers and developers. There must be some more interesting trends hiding in this data that goes beyond the basic lists of celebrities, major news events and TV shows that Google, Bing and others like to present at the end of every year.
Bing’s Top 10s
Here are the top three results for some of the categories Bing ranked. You can find all the full lists for 2011 and 2010 on Microsoft’s Bing Blog.
Most Searched Person of 2011:
#1 Justin Bieber
#2 Kim Kardashian
#3 Jennifer Aniston
Most Searched News Stories of 2011:
#1 Casey Anthony Trial
#2 Osama Bin Laden Death
#3 Hurricane Irene
Most Searched Sports Stars of 2011:
#1 Maria Sharapova
#2 Tiger Woods
#3 Serena Williams
Most Searched Consumer Electronics of 2011: