Last week Yahoo! announced their 2008 top searches. Number 1 on the list is Britney Spears and number 2 is WWE.’  I found out about this list when listening to a couple of podcasts (Net @ Night and Buzz Out Loud). Both of the podcasts were somewhat dismissive of the list, and stated that the top 10 demonstrates that those who use Yahoo! for search are, as one podcaster said, “nudniks.”

However, as I heard these podcasters analyzing the results, I thought something else entirely.’  It seems to me that the list demonstrates the power of teen (and probably tween) searchers.’  Take a look at the list and think about whether or not you agree.’ ‘  Who is going to search for Britney, Runescape, Naruto, and Jessica Alba?’  Teens and tweens, right?’  And, it appeared that my conjecture was even more accurate when some of the podcasters said they had never heard of Runescape or Naruto.

If my thoughts about these results having quite a bit to do with teen and tween research (and personal research at that) are correct, then I’m also wondering about how we use this data to better serve teens.

  • Do we show teens the 2008 Yahoo! top searches list and the Google Zeitgeist (Google hasn’t released the 2008 top search list but their Zeitgeist is an overview of daily top trends.) and ask them what the lists suggest about how people search?
  • Does it make sense to spend more time on Yahoo! then one might normally when talking with teens about effective search strategies?
  • Do we ask teens to tell us how they use search engines differently based on needs and interests?

I think there’s more to ponder related to the Yahoo! 2008 top ten and its relationship to teen searching. What do YALSA blog readers think about the Yahoo! search stats and what the data suggests about teen searching habits and interests?

About Linda W Braun

Linda W Braun is a YALSA Past President, the YALSA CE Consultant, and a learning consultant/project management coordinator at LEO: Librarians & Educators Online.

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