Michael Jackson’s stunning death made him the Internet’s biggest star this year.
The quest to find out what happened to Jackson in his final hours on June 25 and celebrate his legacy elevated the late entertainer to the top of the Internet’s search charts for 2009. On Yahoo, it ended singer Britney Spears’ four-year reign on top.
The annual lists released Tuesday were compiled separately by Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc., which combined handle two-thirds of the world’s Internet searches. Jackson also grabbed the top spot on Microsoft’s Bing, the third-largest U.S. search engine.
The lists are meant to provide a reading on our cultural pulse.
As usual, people using Yahoo’s search engine in 2009 seemed to be most interested in celebrities and other diversions, even against the sobering backdrop of the worst recession in 70 years.