Microsoft Names Most Popular “How To” Searches Of ’08

    February 4, 2009

Like it or not, we’re now 35 days into 2009, and textbook writers are probably already trying to compose a few paragraphs about last year for the overpriced latest versions.  Microsoft may want to help, as it’s just released a list of the top "how to" queries of 2008. 

Microsoft Logo

A post on the official Live Search blog didn’t order these phrases, so we’ve gone ahead and grouped similar ones together.  The influence of the recession may be seen a little bit as finance- and job-related searches showed up most often.  People apparently wanted to know "how to save money," "how to save on home heating bills," "how to make money," and "how to write a resume."  It’s likely that "how to tie a tie" then became important as they went to interviews.

The recession may have caused some more personal problems, too.  "How to be happy at work" showed up on Microsoft’s list, as did the more general "how to reduce stress in your life."  Things moved specifically to the home front with "how to argue with your spouse" and "how to improve your marriage."

Next, self-improvement became an issue with the random "how to avoid tan lines."  "How to lose back fat" seems a little odd, and then "how to lose weight" is a familiar sight.  Perhaps these last two things would have been less of an issue if people hadn’t found out "how to cook a turkey," "how to brine a turkey," and "how to make gravy."

Finally, there are some inexplicable odds and ends.  "How to choose a pediatrician," "how to recycle cell phones," and "how to pronounce Palahniuk" wrap up Microsoft’s 18-phrase list.

The recession, the delay in Microsoft’s release of its list, those last three queries . . . .  Maybe one of the top searches of 2009 will be something along the lines of "how to make sense of it all."