Searching for the "War on Iraq"
With a self-deprecating flourish the Yahoo! Buzz index announced that:
"surprisingly -- or perhaps not surprising at all to those who question the intelligence of the average American -- terms related to the war with Iraq never managed to upstage buzz mainstay American Idol"
It hasn't been much different this side of the Atlantic. The top ten searches in the last seven days across BBCi included: "eastenders", "games", "celebdaq", "cbbc", & "test the nation"
But it has made me wonder how much these lists are editorialised by the major search engines.
The Lycos 50 points out that despite the high interest in the 'war in iraq' "March Madness comes out on top". Of course they are referring to sport in the USA, although I'm not sure I can tell the difference. The Google Zeitgeist page has only a couple of war related terms in its 'fastest gaining' category
Looking through the searches on BBCi I have found that a lot of people are searching for information on Iraq, on the coalition forces, on the American POWs, and on the British armed forces killed by American fire. But I don't see one exact search term leaping out into the number one slot. One obvious difference is that the two biggest entry points into the BBCi site [www.bbc.co.uk and news.bbc.co.uk] both have plenty of coverage of the war on them.
But it was the fact that I suspected people were looking for information on the Iraq crisis, and that the top search terms didn't reflect that, which led me to look at word bursts within search terms. As soon as this crisis passes and I get back into my normal work routine I hope to work on them further.