Lycos announces the most popular search terms of 2006

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LY LYCOS, Inc. (www.lycos.com), a leading community destination for high-quality broadband entertainment content, today announced The LYCOS 50's annual list of top 50 search terms for the year 2006. The LYCOS 50 is a weekly list of the most popular people, places and things LYCOS users search for every day. The LYCOS 50 2006 year-end list is based on LYCOS user searches from Jan. 1, 2006 through Nov. 25, 2006. For a complete list of The LYCOS 50 top 50 search terms of 2006, and for in-depth commentary of The LYCOS 50 2006 Report, go to http://50.lycos.com.

The LYCOS 50 Top 10 Search Terms for 2006 are:
1) Poker 6) Pokemon
2) MySpace 7) WWE
3) RuneScape 8) Golf
4) Pamela Anderson 9) Spyware
5) Paris Hilton 10) Britney Spears

Poker generated more online interest than any other search term with LYCOS users in 2006. Search activity for poker has been steadily climbing since it made its first appearance on the 2004 year-end list at number 10. Last year, it was the fourth most popular search term of 2005. Search activity for poker jumped 434 percent over the past year, trumping both Pamela Anderson and Paris Hilton, to claim the top spot in 2006. MySpace saw the biggest jump in search interest in 2006, up 568 percent since this time in 2005. Another newcomer to this year's top search list is Spyware, edging out long-time web darlings like Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez and Dragonball, which all dropped significantly in 2006.

While Hurricane Katrina was the most-searched news event of 2005, the news story resonating most with web users in 2006 is the Iran Nuclear Program. This also marks the second year in a row that the War in Iraq failed to generate enough search interest to make it the number one news event with web users. Search activity for the Iraq War dropped 30 percent over the past year, with searches for President George W. Bush continuing to decrease, dropping 17 percent since this same time in 2005. Based on search activity, web users appeared much more interested in the World Cup than in the Iraq War, as the World Cup generated 40 percent more searches than the Iraq War in 2006.

Clay Aiken takes over as the most-searched man of 2006, pushing the top man of 2005 Eminem to number three on this year's list. Aiken generated consistent search interest throughout the year, due in part to the release of a new album, and questions surrounding his sexuality, as well as his recent on-air run-in with Kelly Ripa while co-hosting "Regis and Kelly" last month. Making his debut on the 2006 list of top men is Disney's "High School Musical" star Zac Efron, who was 182 percent more popular than Howard Stern in 2006, based on web search activity.

Several new faces appear on this year's top men list, including rapper Daddy Yankee, who was predicted to be "one to watch" in 2006 in last year's Lycos 50 Year-End report. The untimely death of Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin sent web users scouring the internet in search of video depicting the stingray attack which subsequently killed him, pushing Irwin onto this year's most-searched men list. Dropping off the list of most-searched men for the first time in 6 years is Tupac Shakur, while new faces like Chris Brown and Jesse McCartney emerge on this year's list of most-searched men. Chris Brown saw a huge increase in 2006, up 66 percent. Notably absent from this year's list of top men is rapper 50 Cent, whose search interest also dipped in 2006, down 98 percent.

Topping the list of this year's most-searched women is Pamela Anderson who continues to find ways of staying top of mind with web users. Helping propel Anderson in 2006 were her over-hyped marriage(s) to Kid Rock and then subsequent divorce, as well as her many news-driven PETA appearances. Making her first-ever appearance on this year's list of most-searched women is Jessica Simpson, while this marks the first year since 2000 that Brooke Burke did not make the list of top women. This also marks the 7th consecutive year that Britney Spears has appeared on the list of most-searched women, from 1999 through 2006.

"American Idol" retakes the top spot as the most-searched TV show of 2006, as "The Simpsons" drops 59 percent since this time last year. Search interest in American Idol jumped 300 percent in 2006, while former American Idol contestant Elliot Yamin sees the biggest jump in search interest over the past year, making the list of most-searched men of 2006. Reality shows and primetime cartoons continue to dominate the list of most-searched TV shows in 2006. Meanwhile, Green Day is the most-searched band of 2006, for the second consecutive year.

And from the blogosphere, Perez Hilton is the most-searched blog site of 2006, generating 91 percent more search interest than the second most popular blog site with web searchers, Huffington Post. While Huffington Post provides news and opinions, three of the top five most-searched blog sites this year cater to celebrity gossip news, including Perez Hilton, a.k.a. Mario Armando Lavandeira Jr., TMZ, a.k.a. "Thirty Mile Zone" around Hollywood, and Pink is the New Blog. The fifth most popular blog site in 2006 is PostSecret, an ongoing community art project where people anonymously email their secrets on postcards.

The Ones to Watch in 2007:
The following terms had strong showings in 2006. Based on growing search queries, The Lycos 50 predicts these are the ones to watch in 2007: from the political stage, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and the topics of illegal immigration, global warming, bird flu and stem cell research...singer/actress Beyonce...rappers Nas and Jim Jones, and hip-hopp artist Akon ...the 2007 movies already generatinng buzz online are all sequels and one based on a famous primetime animated series including, "Spider Man 3," "Shrek the Third," "Pirates of the Caribbean: Land's End," "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," "Saw 4," and "The Simpsons Movie"...the TV shows "Heroes" and "Ugly BBetty,"...from the literary world, the eagerly antiicipated release of Harry Potter 7...and frrom the technology side, geotagging, Wii and GPS Tracking on cell phones.

Top 10 Women of 2006:
1) Pamela Anderson 6) Jessica Simpson
2) Paris Hilton 7) Hilary Duff
3) Britney Spears 8) Anna Kournikova
4) Lindsay Lohan 9) Carmen Electra
5) Jennifer Lopez 10) Angelina Jolie

Top 10 Men of 2006:
1) Clay Aiken 6) Howard Stern
2) Zac Efron 7) Daddy Yankee
3) Eminem 8) Jesse McCartney
4) Nelly 9) Elliot Yamin
5) Chris Brown 10) Steve Irwin

Top 10 Bands of 2006:
1) Green Day 6) Nickelback
2) Pussycat Dolls 7) Evanescence
3) Fall Out Boy 8) Black Eyes Peas
4) Guns N Roses 9) All American Rejects
5) Rolling Stones 10) The Fray

Top 10 Films of 2006:
1) High School Musical 6) Scary Movie 4
2) The Da Vinci Code 7) Snakes on a Plane
3) Pirates of the Caribbean 3 8) Talladega Nights
4) X-Men 3 9) Saw 3
5) V for Vendetta 10) Nacho Libre

Top News Stories of 2006:
1) Iran Conflict 6) Global Warming
2) World Cup 7) Winter Olympics
3) War in Iraq 8) Debra LaFave Scandal
4) Heather Mills/Paul McCartney Divorce 9) Gas Prices
5) Israel/Palestine Conflict 10) Stem Cell Research

Top Fads of 2006:
1) Poker 6) Yoga
2) MySpace 7) Final Fantasy
3) RuneScape 8) Yu-Gi-Oh
4) iPod 9) Atkins Diet
5) YouTube 10) Pilates

Top Television Shows of 2006:
1) American Idol 6) CSI
2) Lost 7) The Simpsons
3) South Park 8) Scrubs
4) Smallville 9) Survivor
5) Family Guy 10) Dancing with the Stars

Top 10 Sports Stars of 2006:
1) Anna Kournikova 6) Michelle Wie
2) Maria Sharapova 7) Barry Bonds
3) Christiano Rinaldo 8) Lucas Neill
4) Tiger Woods 9) Lance Armstrong
5) Danica Patrick 10) Kirby Puckett

Top 5 Blog Sites of 2006:
1) Perez Hilton
2) Huffington Post
3) TMZ
4) Pink is the New Blog
5) PostSecret

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