Every year, there are always a few topics that light the Internet on fire and dominate search engines. This year saw a handful of topics taking up plenty of online real estate, including Kanye West's interruption of Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards, the drama between Jon and Kate Gosselin, and the amazing rise of Susan Boyle. But in a development that should not shock anybody, Yahoo announced today that its top search of the year was [artist id="1102"]Michael Jackson[/artist], who passed away suddenly back in June and has since been the subject of tributes, legal disputes and the concert documentary "Michael Jackson's This Is It."
Jackson's ascension to the top search term ends the reign of [artist id="501686"]Britney Spears[/artist], who has spent the last four years at #1 on the list. (Spears' popularity is still gigantic, though — she clocked in at #5.)
The list of the most searched-for terms at Yahoo reads like a digest of the year's biggest pop-culture phenomena. "Twilight" came in second place, followed close behind by WWE and Megan Fox. "American Idol" also charted at # 7. Jackson's presence in the top 10 pushed out Barack Obama, who finished at # 11.
Jackson and Spears finished in the top two among the most searched-for music artists, a list that also includes the likes of Beyoncé, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift.
Among the news stories that people were searching for, Yahoo noted that various searches about the economy, swine flu, the "Cash for Clunkers" program and health-care reform were on the minds of searchers on the Web.