After weeks of lagging behind the teen singing sensation, as well as the PlayStation 2 and the Japanese anime Dragon Ball Z, the presidential race finally garnered more search queries than nonpolitical topics.
Last Wednesday, the day after the national vote, "presidential election" was the most widely searched for term on Yahoo, looked up by 0.6 percent of all searching visitors. The term "2000 Elections" was Yahoo's second most searched for term, looked up by 0.4 percent of the site's search users.
Dragon Ball Z, a popular Japanese anime, stole third place, but was followed by "George W. Bush" in fourth place. "PlayStation 2" came in fifth, beating "Al Gore," who landed as the sixth most widely searched term. Britney Spears came in last of the group at No. 7, followed by "Napster," "World Wrestling Federation," "Drudge Report" and "Charlie's Angels."
On Lycos, another popular search engine that issues weekly lists of popular search terms, "Election 2000" took first place, followed by "Electoral College" and "Dragon Ball Z."
The term "Florida recount" took fourth place, followed by "Christmas" and "Drudge Report."
Danny Sullivan, editor of SearchEngineWatch.com, said it is common for search results to reflect current events.
"When we had the Concorde crash, you saw that Concorde term; during the Olympics we had the Olympics terms. When movies open, of course you see people looking for the particular movie or the actors or actresses for that movie," he said. "You can also see trends during different sporting seasons. Football searches or basketball will pick up when the seasons begin."
But by Monday, interest in the election had waned. "Dragon Ball Z" had moved to No. 1 as Yahoo's most searched-for term, followed by "Austrian train fire," "PlayStation 2" and "Britney Spears." "George W. Bush" fell to eighth place, followed by "presidential election results" at No. 12 and "Al Gore" at No. 13.