Saddam Hussein Bumps Britney Spears as Number One Search Term for First Week of 2007

LYCOS, the once famous darling of the Internet era, announced the following information from The LYCOS 50, the 50 most popular Internet search results for the week ending Jan. 6, 2007. Readers of The LYCOS 50 can also share their thoughts on Internet trends and pop culture on The LYCOS 50 Blog located at http://lycos50.tripod.com/blog/.

Biggest Movers and Shakers for Week Ending Jan. 6, 2007:

1. Al Jazeera > 7,400 %

2. Rosie O'Donnell > 900 %

3. War in Iraq > 359 %

4. Auld Lang Syne > 181 %

5. UFC > 170 %

6. Gerald Ford > 100 %

7. Ugly Betty > 100 %

8. OJ Simpson > 100 %

9. Elin Nordegren > 49 %

10. Misheard Lyrics > 45 %

Avid search interest in Saddam Hussein (#1) continues this week, as web users are still scouring the internet in search of video and photos of Hussein's execution. Online interest in Hussein is up an astounding 93,000 % since Jan. 1, with 27 % of all search queries specifying Hussein's execution video.

Interest in the video of Hussein's execution follows the trend of web users searching for video and photo content online when not available in print or broadcast mainstream media. This was first evident in 2001 following the death of NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, when rumors began circulating that Earnhardt's autopsy photos were available online.

In 2002, following the death of journalist Daniel Pearl, web users once again flocked online after video was leaked of Pearl's beheading, and again, in 2004, with video of the beheading of Nick Berg. Most recently, web users searched, and continue to search, for video of Steve Irwin's final moments as he was stabbed in the heart by a stingray barb, resulting in instant death.

Search Gainers

Recent events surrounding Hussein's execution as well as President Bush's plan to escalate the number of troops in Iraq, have also sparked interest in the War in Iraq and Al Jazeera, which re-enter this week's list at numbers 18 and 22 respectively.

Search activity for the Iraq War is up 359 % over the past week, while search interest in Al Jazeera has jumped 7,400 % following news that the Arab-owned news network had aired video footage of Hussein's execution.

Meanwhile, the on-going battle between Rosie O'Donnell and Donald Trump has generated a 900 % increase in search activity for "The View" co- anchor. Interestingly, web users appear far more interested in Rosie than in "The Donald," as O'Donnell generates 10 times more search interest than Trump. Even the feud with O'Donnell couldn't help spike ratings for "The Apprentice," with averaged just a 4.1 rating among adults 18-49, according to Nielsen overnights, down 8% from last year.