Now this is mind-boggling. Check out how radically different the top ten search terms of 2006 were for Google, Yahoo and AOL.
3. World Cup
1. Britney Spears
4. Jessica Simpson
5. Paris Hilton
6. American Idol
7. Beyonce Knowles
8. Chris Brown
9. Pamela Anderson
10. Lindsay Lohan
4. American Idol
There’s only a single overlap: “American Idol” appears on both Yahoo and AOL. That’s it. I would have thought that, given the sheer number of searches done through each engine, there’d be a lot more similarity in the results. I guess it means that very different types of people use each of the three engines.
Looking back over the results, I think I can suggest the following market segmentation: Google users are dweebs. Yahoo users are horndogs. And AOL users are geezers.
At first, the appearance of “Tattoo” on the AOL list threw me. It didn’t seem to fit with the Geezer demographic. But then I realized that the old folks are just trying to figure out what the hell’s going on with their grandkids these days.
UPDATE: Allen Stern provides tables showing the top ten searches on Google and Yahoo for every year from 2003 through 2006. The Yahoo searches don’t change much from year to year. But the Google searches go through a radical transformation. In 2004, Google’s top searches looked a lot like Yahoo’s top searches look this year. The four most popular Google searches in 2004 were Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Christina Aguilera, and Pamela Anderson. At some point over the last couple of years, in other words, Google users went from being horndogs to being dweebs. This seems to confirm what I’ve long suspected: Googling is bad for the libido. Consider yourself warned.