Yahoo!’s Top 10 Searches often tell us more about our guilty pleasures, distractions, and obsessions than news headlines do, like this year’s continued pursuit of online gaming, reality TV, sports, and starlets. The unexpected death of a troubled legend also drew record Web traffic and tributes.
It’s also worth noting who fell off the Top 10 list: In 2008, Barack Obama became the first politician to crack the Top 10. Despite sliding off, he still commanded plenty of online attention in ’09—enough to warrant his own list. Here now, the people and events that dominated searches in 2009.