Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

A Bing Bug? If Not, How Did This Dude Beat Out Megan Fox and the Even Prettier Robert Pattinson for Most-Searched Celeb?


Since Bing only debuted at mid-year (and launched at the D: All Things Digital conference too), BoomTown is willing to cut it some slack.

Until the Microsoft (MSFT) search service revealed on its blog last night that Perez Hilton–the irksome entertainment gossip blogger–beat out “Transformers” hottie Megan Fox and “Twilight” hottie-er Robert Pattinson for the top celebrity searched using Bing in 2009.

Clearly, its algorithm needs some tweaking by real people.

Bing is the first of the top search lists to come up for 2009, to be followed soon by Google (GOOG) and Yahoo (YHOO).

“If you’re curious how we determined the top searches, we analyzed billions of search queries and developed the list based on searches made with Bing,” wrote Bing GM Danielle Tiedt.

“Not surprisingly, we saw a lot of folks using Bing for quick access to favorite sites like Facebook, MSN, YouTube and Craigslist. We also saw a lot of more complex searches such as product related queries in which people used Bing to help decide what MP3 player to buy and travel searches to help find the best deals on a tropical vacation.”

But this time of year, it is mostly about the lists, so Bing noted that Michael Jackson–no surprise–was the top trending topic, followed in order by: Twitter, swine flu, stock market, Farrah Fawcett, Patrick Swayze, Cash for Clunkers, Jon and Kate Gosselin, Billy Mays and Jaycee Dugard.

In other words, Bing users are celebrity death-obsessed, econalypse-worried, plague-wary people who cannot be without information about the worst married couple ever.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald