Lycos Announces the Most Popular Internet Search Terms of 2008

Dec 10, 2008, 13:03 ET from Lycos, Inc.

'Poker' Draws Winning Hand Over 'Paris Hilton,' Topping Lycos Year-End List For 3rd Consecutive Year

U.S. Economic Crisis Surpasses Presidential Election as Most-Searched News Event of 2008; 'The Dark Knight' Tops Film Searches

Sarah Palin, More Popular than Britney Spears in 2008; Jonas Brothers, Hottest Band with Web Users

Perez Hilton, Most Popular Blog Site

WALTHAM, Mass., Dec. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Lycos, Inc. (, a leading provider of social publishing, media and search services, today announced its 9th annual list of top 50 search terms for the year 2008, based on the Lycos 50(TM), a weekly list of the most popular people, places and things Lycos users search for every day. The Lycos 50 Top Search Terms of 2008 list is based on Lycos user searches from Jan. 1, 2008 through Dec. 1, 2008. For a complete list of the Lycos 50 Top Search Terms of 2008 and for in-depth text of the Lycos 50 Daily Report, go to Readers of the Lycos 50 can also share their thoughts on this year's list on the Lycos 50 Blog located at The Lycos 50 Blog or follow the Lycos 50 on Twitter.

The Lycos 50 Top 10 Search Terms for 2008 are:

  1. Poker
  2. Paris Hilton
  3. YouTube
  4. Golf
  5. Sarah Palin
  6. Britney Spears
  7. Clay Aiken
  8. Pamela Anderson
  9. Facebook
  10. Holly Madison

For the third year running, Poker draws the top spot, generating more search activity with Lycos users in 2008 than any other search term. The continued success of the World Poker Tour and year-round televised celebrity poker tournaments pushed online interest in Poker slightly ahead of Paris Hilton, generating only five percent more search activity than the celebrity heiress. While Hilton jumps ahead of comeback queen Britney Spears in 2008, it was Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin who literally came out of nowhere to overtake Spears, Pamela Anderson and Hugh Hefner's former main squeeze and "House Bunny" Holly Madison, making Palin the second most popular woman with web users in 2008, despite the fact that she didn't appear on the search radar until August. Web users' fascination with Palin also pushed online interest in actress Tina Fey to an all-time high, pushing Fey ahead of Lindsay Lohan and Angelina Jolie in search popularity in 2008. Also making first-ever appearances on the top 10 list of the web's most wanted women this year are TV reality star Kim Kardashian and actress Jessica Alba.

YouTube tripled in online popularity over the past year, jumping to number three in 2008, while Facebook was also a big winner, making the list of top 10 overall search terms of 2008, rising 500 percent in search popularity compared to this time last year. Craigslist also saw a 900 percent bump in search activity in 2008, driving three times more search interest than eBay. But it was MySpace that took a nose dive in 2008, dropping off the search meter, falling out of the top 50 search terms, with search interest down 800 percent compared to 2007. And from the blogosphere, gossip guru Perez Hilton reigns supreme, bumping from the top spot, generating more searches than all other blog sites with Lycos users in 2008. The Presidential Election helped propel searches for the second and third most popular blogs in 2008, the Drudge Report and the Huffington Post, respectively.

In the television world, "Dancing with the Stars" may be tops with TV viewers, but it was "Star Trek Enterprise" that took the trophy with web users, bumping DWTS to number two in 2008, and driving nearly three times more online interest than the number three most popular show, "Family Guy." "American Idol" falls to number five in 2008, behind newcomer "Greek." And just missing the top 10 this year was "Saturday Night Live," driven in part by the now infamous clips of "SNL" parodies featuring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, portraying Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton. TV shows scoring big hits in 2007 like "Heroes" and "Entourage," failed to make this year's list while popular animated series like "Family Guy" and "The Simpsons" saw a resurgence in popularity in 2008, making the top 10 TV list.

From the small screen to the big screen, "The Dark Knight" is the top film of 2008 with Lycos users, due in part to the untimely death of one of the film's leading stars, Heath Ledger, who portrayed the role of the Joker. "Iron Man," "Cloverfield" and "Twilight" racked up big box office numbers and web users followed in suit, while the highly anticipated "Indiana Jones 4" landed in this year's top five most popular films of 2008. Disney's "Camp Rock," featuring pop music heartthrobs the Jonas Bothers - this year's most-searched band with web users - and "High School Musical 3" round out the most popular films based on web searches over the past year. However, when it comes to leading men online, film stars can't compare to singer Clay Aiken who takes home top honors as the most-searched man in 2008 for the 3rd consecutive year, driven by headlines of Aiken coming out publicly about his sexuality, and being a new Dad.

For the first time since the 2000 Presidential Election, two politicians make the list of top men in 2008, including President-Elect Barack Obama, and former GOP candidate John McCain, while the death of two of Hollywood's most popular actors propelled search activity for both Heath Ledger and Paul Newman. From the music world, Tupac Shakur and 50 Cent reemerge on this year's list after fading in 2007, while Travis Barker makes a first-ever appearance on the list of Top Men in 2008 after surviving a deadly plane crash. And reappearing in 2008 after falling off the list in 2007 is Howard Stern, who, despite seeing a continued decline in his Sirius Satellite ratings, managed to keep himself in the headlines, marrying long-time girlfriend Beth Ostrosky.

The biggest news story of 2008, based on web search activity, was the collapse and bailout of the U.S. Economy, driven by searches for economic-related terms including bankruptcy, credit cards, Lehman Brothers, Bank of America, Washington Mutual, Bailout, 401k's and retirement planning. The state of the U.S. Economy also led to an increase in searches for one of 2008's most-searched fads, DIY home improvement, featuring a 600 percent increase in search activity for both Home Depot and Lowe's. The economy may also be responsible for a large increase in search queries for medical treatments for depression and sleeping aids, both up 500 percent in online interest in 2008.

Just behind the US Economy, the second most popular news story of 2008 was the Presidential Election, driven by a frenzy in search queries for election-related terms ranging from Sarah Palin to Joe the Plumber. Election '08 also sparked search interest in TV news organizations for the first time since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, led by CNN, which generated nearly three times more online interest than MSNBC, Fox News and ABC News. Based on web search activity, it also appears web users were more interested in the Eliot Spitzer Scandal and the tragic death of Jennifer Hudson's family members, than the devastating hurricanes and earthquakes which occurred in 2008. The War in Iraq, however, did reappear on the Top 10 list of most-searched news events in 2008, making the list for the first time since 2004.

Finally, from the wide web world of sports, Olympic gold medal record-breaking swimmer and endorsement king Michael Phelps makes a first-ever appearance on the top sports list in 2008, along with Boston Celtics star and NBA playoff most valuable player Paul Pierce. Former Boston Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez also jumps into the spotlight online due in part to the very public drama surrounding his mid-season trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers, while New England Patriots QB pretty boy Tom Brady continues to rack up points online following his season-ending injury suffered in the opening quarter of the Patriots' first game vs. the Kansas City Chiefs.

Top 10 Women of 2008:

  1. Paris Hilton
  2. Sarah Palin
  3. Britney Spears
  4. Pamela Anderson
  5. Holly Madison
  6. Kim Kardashian
  7. Tina Fey
  8. Lindsay Lohan
  9. Angelina Jolie
  10. Jessica Alba

Top 10 Men of 2008:

  1. Clay Aiken
  2. Barack Obama
  3. Heath Ledger
  4. Paul Newman
  5. John McCain
  6. Tupac Shakur
  7. Johnny Depp
  8. Howard Stern
  9. Travis Barker
  10. 50 Cent

Top 10 Films of 2008:

  1. The Dark Knight
  2. Iron Man
  3. Cloverfield
  4. Twilight
  5. Indiana Jones 4
  6. Sex and the City Movie
  7. James Bond Quantum of Solace
  8. 21 The Movie
  9. Camp Rock
  10. High School Musical 3

Top News Stories of 2008:

  1. Economic Collapse/Bailout
  2. Presidential Election '08
  3. Death of Heath Ledger
  4. Clay Aiken Comes Out/Becomes Dad
  5. Death of Paul Newman
  6. Jennifer Hudson Family Murder
  7. Eliot Spitzer Scandal
  8. Travis Barker Plane Crash
  9. Sichuan Earthquake
  10. War in Iraq

Top Fads of 2008:

  1. Poker
  2. YouTube
  3. Facebook
  4. DIY Home Improvement
  5. Digital TV
  6. Weight Watchers
  7. Craigslist
  8. RuneScape
  9. Webkinz
  10. The Sims

Top Television Shows of 2008:

  1. Star Trek Enterprise
  2. Dancing with the Stars
  3. Family Guy
  4. Greek
  5. American Idol
  6. The Simpsons
  7. Big Brother
  8. The Office
  9. Hannah Montana
  10. The Biggest Loser

Top 10 Bands of 2008:

  1. Jonas Brothers
  2. The Beatles
  3. Metallica
  4. Slipknot
  5. Linkin Park
  6. Pink Floyd
  7. 'N Sync
  8. Backstreet Boys
  9. Rolling Stones
  10. Pussycat Dolls

Top 10 Sports Stars of 2008:

  1. Anna Kournikova
  2. Danica Patrick
  3. Maria Sharapova
  4. Michael Phelps
  5. Serena Williams
  6. Tom Brady
  7. Manny Ramirez
  8. David Beckham
  9. Tiger Woods
  10. Paul Pierce

Top Three Blog Sites of 2008:

  1. Perez Hilton
  2. Drudge Report
  3. Huffington Post

About Lycos, Inc.

Lycos, Inc. operates search and social media web sites that foster online communities, including the new Lycos Cinema community, bringing people together one flick at a time. Other Lycos products and sites include,,,,, Lycos Mail, Webon, and The Lycos 50(TM). Lycos, Inc. ( is a wholly owned subsidiary of Daum Communications Corp., a leading search and Internet portal in Korea. Lycos was acquired by Korean Daum Communications Corp. in October 2004 and has its U.S. headquarters in Waltham, Massachusetts. Daum Communications Corp. is traded on the KOSDAQ: 035720,

Lycos(R) is a registered trademark of Lycos, Inc. All other product or service marks mentioned herein are those of Daum Communications Corp., Lycos, Inc. or their respective owners. All rights reserved.

SOURCE Lycos, Inc.