AOL’s Top Search Topics

    December 14, 2004

AOL Search announced the year’s top searches based on what people and topics received the highest volume of online queries on the AOL service and

Platinum recording artist and teen movie star Hilary Duff takes the crown for most searched person among kids and teens and Britney Spears was once again the most searched person overall, though hardly by a landslide. Britney, followed closely by hotel heiress and socialite Paris Hilton, reclaims the top honor this year from rap sensation 50 Cent who dethroned Britney in 2003 after she held the top spot for two years running. But look for Usher, one of 2004’s biggest gainers and the year’s #1 searched male, who also scored the #1 and #2 searched songs of the year, to give both Britney and Paris a run for their money in the overall category in 2005.

Hilary Duff also appeared on the top lists for most searched people overall, female celebrities and celebrities under 21, as well as female music artists.

The most searched words overall this year led with “horoscopes,” with new topics hitting 2004’s top 50 list including: foreclosures (#4); salaries (#5); work at home (#18); home improvement (#19); airline tickets (#27); spyware (#43); credit reports (#43); texas hold ’em poker (#46); and blue book (#49).

The Presidential Election was the most searched news topic in 2004, with John Kerry as the most searched politician. This year’s World Series ranked among the top searched events, as the Boston Red Sox, ranking #4 in the top sports teams, won for the first time in 86 years. The most searched Red Sox player in 2004 was Johnny Damon, and the most searched athlete overall was Kobe Bryant.

The “no” carb craze in 2003 gave way to the “low” carb craze in 2004 with The South Beach Diet ranking as the top searched diet, beating out last year’s topper, The Atkins Diet. But on the other end of the spectrum, “cookies” were the most searched recipe, followed by “crockpot recipes” at #2, indicating strong interest in home-cooked comfort food, and “cocktail recipes” rounded out the list at #3 as people continue to log on for how to make new and classic mixed drinks.

Arguably the year of “denim,” 2004 saw literally dozens of new designer jeans come on the market, and Levi’s, a tried and true classic, held rank at #1 in the jeans category. This was a hot year for labels and logos and Louis Vuitton was the most searched designer label, and hard-to-find items like Ugg Boots and popular Throwback Jerseys making the top five list of the most searched fashion trends of 2004. Body ink also seemed to be a growing fashion trend this year, with tribal patterns, butterflies and fairies topping the tattoo design list.

At the top of the list for most searched gadgets was cellphones, followed by digital cameras at #2 and MP3 players, including iPods, at #3.

“The most searched for topics online are a way to gauge what Americans are interested in, and what they want to know more about. Looking at the top year-end search terms from AOL Search gives us a unique view of what was top-of-mind for our members throughout the year,” said Gerry Campbell, Vice President and General Manager, AOL Search & Navigation. “We’re committed to offering new tools and useful information to help our members find exactly what they’re looking for on America Online and the Internet quickly and easily.”

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