An obituary engineBy Thomas McKinnon 30 November 2009 | Categories: news
Microsoft’s latest attempt at grabbing some of the online search market, Bing, was launched in June this year and has already shown some promise. It has taken the number two position in terms of search market share in the US and now powers Yahoo! search. Recently Rupert Murdoch discussed structuring an exclusivity deal with Microsoft that could see it index News Corp pages, leaving Google out in the cold- improbable as this may be.
After a big year, the self-titled "decision engine" released results of its top trending topics for 2009 to celebrate its success. The top ten trending topics were:
1) Michael Jackson
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
While there were very few surprises on the list one trend does standout; searches relating to celebrity/ high-profile deaths. Five of the top searches followed this trend. The deaths of Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Patrick Swayze and Billy Mays (a US infomercial presenter) were widely followed online. The tragic death of Jaycee Dugard, a kidnap victim found in August 2009, was widely followed news in the US as well.
For all the big news stories of the year the topic of mortality- either news of, and /or the ability to pay tribute to influential individuals online- stands above all others on Bing. It will be interesting to see how search trends on Bing compare with those on Google and even Twitter. Google is yet to release its Zeitgeist results for 2009.
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