Election, iPhone 5 top Yahoo's list of 2012's popular searches

As for top-searched gadgets, three of the top five on the list are made by Apple -- iPhone 5, iPad 3, and iPad Mini.

The iPhone 5 was one of the most searched terms this year. CBS Interactive
The iPhone 5 couldn't quite edge out the election to be No. 1 on Yahoo's list of most-searched terms for 2012. But it came pretty close.

Yahoo today released its data for the most-searched terms in 2012. The lists include information on "obsessions" (viral sensations), memes, gadgets, Olympians, sports teams, songs/music lyrics, TV comedies, "what is" searches, how-to searches, recipes, and several others.

At the top of the list of terms most searched overall, unsurprisingly, was "election," followed by iPhone 5. Rounding out the top five were Kim Kardashian, Kate Upton, and Kate Middleton.

As Yahoo noted, politics saturated news headlines and ads, but people still searched online to see what was happening in the presidential election, as well as their own state and local races. As for the iPhone, anticipation for the device kept it toward the top of the list.

"iPhone was No. 1 last year, and the fact the iPhone made it back on the list is incredible," Vera Chan, a Yahoo Web trend analyst, told CNET.

It did end up the top-searched gadget of the year, followed by iPad 3, iPad Mini, Samsung Galaxy S3, and Kindle Fire. Interestingly, iPhone 4 nabbed the No. 6 spot.

Kim Kardashian, meanwhile, reached the height of her popularity as the most searched person on Yahoo. She has been a staple in the Top 10 since 2009, the site noted.

Some of the top obsessions, or searches that became viral, in order, are iPhone 5, political polls, Mega Millions, The Hunger Games, and Honey Boo Boo. And the top-searched memes were Kony 2012, binders full of women, Hurricane Sandy fake storm photos, ridiculously photogenic guy, and Big Bird.

Search rankings from other sites have also been released in the past couple weeks. Microsoft's Bing search engine deemed the iPhone 5 to be the most searched for news story of the year. The debut of the device beat out the 2012 presidential election, the Olympics, and Superstorm Sandy, which followed respectively for the next top searches. The Honey Boo Boo reality TV show came in at No. 5 on Bing.

Over at Ask.com, most people wanted to know if Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart were getting back together.

The site also noted that the iPhone 5 may "have made big waves in the press, but it barely registered a ripple among U.S. adults." It said 49 percent of people surveyed said they don't see a big difference between the iPhone 5 and the previous version of the smartphone.

Here's the top 10 searches overall from Yahoo:

  1. Election
  2. iPhone 5
  3. Kim Kardashian
  4. Kate Upton
  5. Kate Middleton
  6. Whitney Houston
  7. Olympics
  8. Political polls
  9. Lindsay Lohan
  10. Jennifer Lopez

And here are the top-searched gadgets:

  1. iPhone 5
  2. iPad 3
  3. iPad Mini
  4. Samsung Galaxy S3
  5. Kindle Fire
  6. iPhone 4
  7. Nook
  8. iPod Touch
  9. Samsung Galaxy Tab
  10. Samsung Galaxy Note
 

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