2012 Yahoo Year In Review: Over 500 Top Searches In 50+ Categories

Last year, Yahoo celebrated ten years of sharing its annual Year In Review feature, marking the occasion by releasing 30 categories of the most popular searches on Yahoo in 2011, one of the biggest lists up to that point in time.

2012 Yahoo Year In Review: Over 500 Top Searches In 50+ CategoriesFor 2012, Yahoo one-upped themselves by providing us with the top 10 most popular searches in over 50 categories, giving us a mega list of the most common queries and questions asked by Yahoo searchers over the last year.

Vera Chan, senior editor and Web trend analyst at Yahoo, has possibly the 2nd best job at Yahoo next to Marissa Mayer, as she has been involved with putting this annual feature together since 2005; she clearly enjoys looking for the “why” behind some of these popular search trends.

Every year, Ms. Chan hosts a press conference call to share insights and give some context around these searcher behaviors, as she explains that we now live in a “Freakonomics” world — and people like Nate Silver are bringing new meaning to number crunching — she’s clearly one of the people making sense of ‘big data’ at Yahoo.

As explained in the methodology below, she says that Yahoo measures not just overall volume, but notes the changes since the previous year, rolling averages across the year; so, even though new items might spike, it may not not be enough to crack the top 10 in any category over the course of the year.

For example, the “iPhone5″ didn’t exist last year, but the spike in volume of searches was significant enough to propel it to the top in several categories. And, the recent “megamillions” jackpot wasn’t just a trend from last week’s massive prize money; it appears for the year because of many lottery law changes and several states joined the program in 2012; so, searches were up significantly since last year.
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Author: Elisabeth Osmeloski

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