Dweebs, horndogs and geezers

Now this is mind-boggling. Check out how radically different the top ten search terms of 2006 were for Google, Yahoo and AOL.

Here’s Google:

1. Bebo

2. Myspace

3. World Cup

4. Metacafe

5. Radioblog

6. Wikipedia

7. Video

8. Rebelde

9. Mininova

10. Wiki

Here’s Yahoo:

1. Britney Spears

2. WWE

3. Shakira

4. Jessica Simpson

5. Paris Hilton

6. American Idol

7. Beyonce Knowles

8. Chris Brown

9. Pamela Anderson

10. Lindsay Lohan

Here’s AOL:

1. Weather

2. Dictionary

3. Dogs

4. American Idol

5. Maps

6. Cars

7. Games

8. Tattoo

9. Horoscopes

10. Lyrics

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.

26 thoughts on “Dweebs, horndogs and geezers

  1. Joseph Cerro

    Hi Nick,

    The reason why the Google list is so different every year is that it is not actually a list of the Top 10 searches, but rather it is a list of the Top 10 growing searches compared with the previous year. As a result, one would expect the lists to change every year, as well as to be very different from a list of Top 10 searches at other sites.

    Nonetheless, it’s pretty interesting to see how quickly people want to blame differences in results on evil PR schemes, rather than trying to understand what was actually done.

    Happy New Year, Joe

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