According to Google's 2006 Year-End Review, dubbed Zeitgeist, or the cultural climate of an era, a majority of the top-ten search terms for 2006 were trademarks. Topping the list is the registered BEBO mark which is held by Bebo.com LLC, a California company that runs a social networking website. Second on the list was MYSPACE, the registered mark associated with Newscorp's $580 million social-networking giant. Next, as a result of a majority of the world catching soccer fever over the summer, "world cup” ranked as the third most searched term. METACAFE, an unregistered mark used by MetaCafe, Inc. in connection with the promotion of its video hosting and ranking website, ranked fourth. Rounding out the top five, RADIOBLOG, an unregistered mark used by a group that provides a Flash-enabled radio and audio player on its website.
The sixth ranked search term, WIKIPEDIA, is the registered trademark of Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. in connection with the recently controversial community driven encyclopedia website. Chalking one up for the generic search terms, the term "video” managed to capture the seventh spot on the list. The eighth ranked search term, REBELDE, a Spanish term meaning "rebels" in English, is either the title of a recently-concluded Mexican television series or a vocal group. MININOVA, the ninth-ranked search term, is the name of the enormous bit-torrent search engine. Finally, the recently established prefix, "wiki," a term made popular by community-driven resource websites, concludes Google's coveted list of the year's most popular search terms.
The moral of the story is that consumers are generally searching specifically, rather than generically. While generic search terms remain important to website owners who are concerned with search engine ranking and increasing their traffic, the vast majority of the top search terms are unquestionably trademarks. To discover additional trends in search terms, find your way to Google's 2006 Zeitgeist page.
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Minds + Machines