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Yahoo! Year in Review 2011 – The Top Ten of Everything

  • Billions of searches on Yahoo! In 2011 reveal what has caught the attention of the British public

  • The biggest ongoing concern is the economy with searches for the FTSE, National Lottery and Job Centre at #1, 2 and 3

  • Fascination with celebrities shows no sign of ceasing; Ryan Giggs’ superinjunction the biggest news story of the year

LONDON, 1 December 2011: Yahoo! today launched its Year in Review for 2011 – our annual taking of the nation’s temperature, showing what’s really been capturing the nation’s imagination over the last year by unravelling the data from billions of searches on throughout 2011. Yahoo!’s Year in Review ( reveals that the two themes obsessing the nation in 2011 – just as in 2010 and 2009 - are economic instability and celebrity.

The Top Ten of Everything 2011* (last year’s numbers in brackets)

  1. FTSE (new entry)

  2. National Lottery (#1)

  3. Job Centre (#2)

  4. Katie Price (#9)

  5. Cheryl Cole (no change)

  6. EastEnders (new entry)

  7. X Factor (new entry)

  8. Big Brother (new entry)

  9. IPhone5 (new entry)

  10. Kate Middleton (new entry)

With troubles in the Eurozone and a slow-growing UK economy, it looks like we’re interested in the markets as never before - sending searches for the FTSE to #1 in the most searched of 2011 list. Not even in last year’s Top Ten, this year it is number one by a significant distance – searches for the FTSE were 3.4 times the number of searches for the National Lottery at #2.

Even in a year that saw the Royal Wedding, UK riots, the phone-hacking scandal and death of Colonel Gaddafi, celebrity still appears to interest us more than news, with Katie Price and Cheryl Cole both making the top ten – for the third year running -  ahead of all of these events and Kate Middleton, a new entry at #10. Despite claims of its demise, The X Factor’s popularity endures (#7).

Andy Williams, Yahoo!’s Editorial Director said “Our search data for 2011 shows that crisis and celebrity continue to fascinate Britons, with other news barely getting a look in.”

He continued: “The top three Yahoo! Searches of FTSE, National Lottery and Job Centre indicate a country worried about its economic future and dreaming of get-rich quick schemes.”

He added: “Our love-affair with celebrity even beats our respect for the monarchy – our searches show that a real-life princess in the shape of Kate Middleton isn’t as interesting as our reality royalty of Katie Price and Cheryl Cole”

The Top Ten Celebrities (last year’s number in brackets)

  1. Katie Price (#2)

  2. Cheryl Cole (#1)

  3. Kate Middleton (new entry)

  4. Imogen Thomas (new entry)

  5. Pippa Middleton (new entry)

  6. Amy Winehouse (new entry)

  7. Ryan Giggs (new entry)

  8. Victoria Beckham (#6)

  9. Kim Kardashian (new entry)

  10. Rihanna (new entry)

It’s the 3rd year running in the Celebrity Search Top Ten for Price and Cole, with the two reality TV stars striking a blow for the common (wo)man by ranking higher than both the Duchess of Cambridge and her sister, even in the year of a Royal Wedding and with all the attendant publicity about Pippa Middleton’s nearly-royal rear.

Though not reaching the heights of Price and Cole, the Duchess of Cambridge does manage to tally higher than her sister, despite a huge peak in searches for P Middy and her posterior following the Royal Wedding.

Julia White, Editor of Yahoo! omg! UK and showbiz expert said “You might expect that having been crowned queen of Yahoo!’s top searched for celebs last year, Cheryl Cole would be making way for a real life Princess this year. As it happens, she only made way for Katie Price – showing that the British public’s interest in ‘ordinary’ celebrities still trumps royalty.

“Cheryl Cole’s place at the top is particularly impressive as she is no longer appearing on X Factor. The public are clearly still captivated by her –more so than any of the new judges, none of whom make the list!”

Top Ten News Stories

  1. Ryan Giggs superinjunction

  2. Death of Amy Winehouse

  3. Phone-hacking scandal

  4. 2012 Olympics

  5. Royal Wedding

  6. Death of Gaddafi

  7. World Floods (Dublin, Thailand, Australia etc)

  8. Madeleine McCann

  9. UK Riots (London, Birmingham, Manchester)

  10. Death of Marco Simoncelli

Celebrity plays a big role in the year’s most searched-for news stories. The most searched for news story was the Ryan Giggs superinjunction, with more than five times the number of searches for the London riots. The cult of celebrity was also present in the tragic death of Amy Winehouse (#2).

Other Searches

Celebrity Couple – Ryan Giggs & Imogen Thomas
Fashion garment – Pandora Bracelet
Beauty product – GHD Hair Straighteners
Fashion Label – Next
Film – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Leading lady – Jennifer Aniston
Festival – Glastonbury
Song – Adele, Someone Like You
Politician – David Cameron
Political news story – Gaddafi
International news event – Gaddafi
Brand – Apple
Premier League Footballer – Ryan Giggs
Sporting Event – Rugby World Cup
Soap Star – Helen Flanagan
Reality TV contestant – Amy Childs
Soap – Eastenders
TV star – Holly Willoughby
Mobile phone – iPhone 5
Car – Nissan Qashqai
Car manufacturer – BMW

Yahoo!’s Year in Review uses Yahoo! search data to capture the people and events that made 2011. Celebrities, Scandal, News Events and much more can be found at:


Notes to editors:
*This list is constructed without navigational searches – i.e. searches where the intention is clearly purely to navigate (such as searching for ‘Facebook’ or ‘currency converter’) rather than to discover information.

For further information contact:
Caroline MacLeod Smith, Yahoo!
T: +44 (0) 207 131 1994

Sarah Sandland, MHP Communications
T: +44 (0) 203 128 8113

About Yahoo!:
Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) is the premier digital media company, creating deeply personal digital experiences that keep more than half a billion people connected to what matters most to them, across devices and around the globe. That’s how we deliver your world, your way.  And Yahoo!’s unique combination of Science + Art + Scale connects advertisers to the consumers who build their businesses. 

For more information, visit the pressroom ( or the company’s blog, Yodel Anecdotal (