Top News Searches of 2011: Year in Review

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Rebels fire rockets toward Libyan troops loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, west of Ajdabiyah, Libya.
Source: Chris Hondros, Getty Images, Apr. 14, 2011

From the Arab Spring movement abroad to the Occupy Wall Street protests at home, 2011 produced many major headlines. Instead of creating an editorialized list of the top stories of the year, Yahoo!, Bing, and – the second, third, and fourth most used search engines in America, respectively – compiled their most popular searches for 2011. As of Dec. 28, 2011, Google had not released a list of its most popular searches of the year. The rankings below appear in order of popularity (#1 being most popular).

Top Political Searches on

1. Barack Obama: Will Obama get re-elected?

2. Mitt Romney: What is Mitt Romney’s religion?

3. Sarah Palin: Is Sarah Palin running for president?

4. Michele Bachmann: Is Michele Bachmann crazy?

5. Anthony Weiner: Where can I find Anthony Weiner’s Twitter pics?

6. Arnold Schwarzenegger: Who was Arnold’s mistress?

7. Gay Marriage: Which states allow gay marriage?

8. Withdrawal from Iraq: When will the troops come home?

9. Iowa Caucus: When is the Iowa caucus?

10. Muammar Ghadafi: Who will lead Libya after Ghadafi?

Top News Searches on Bing

1. Casey Anthony Trial

2. Osama Bin Laden Death

3. Hurricane Irene

4. Japan Earthquake/Tsunami

5. Amy Winehouse Death

6. Joplin Tornado

7. Michael Jackson trial/Conrad Murray

8. 9/11 10 Year Anniversary

9. Republican Candidates – Herman Cain, Rick Perry

10. Haiti anniversary

Top Searches on Yahoo!

1. iPhone

2. Casey Anthony

3. Kim Kardashian

4. Katy Perry

5. Jennifer Lopez

6. Lindsay Lohan

7. “American Idol”

8. Jennifer Aniston

9. Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

10. Osama Bin Laden


Miranda Miller, “Ask’s Top Question in 2011: Was Kim Kardashian’s Wedding Fake?,”, Dec. 5, 2011

“The Top 2011 Searches from Bing: A Year of Breakthroughs and Heartbreaks,”, Nov. 28, 2011

Vera H-C Chan, “2011 Year in Review,” (accessed Dec. 28, 2011)