The 2008 presidential elections registered a first on Yahoo's Top 10 list: a politician. The appearance of Barack Obama at No. 3 (taking up a slot once occupied by Paris Hilton, no less) wasn't just a... more 
The 2008 presidential elections registered a first on Yahoo's Top 10 list: a politician. The appearance of Barack Obama at No. 3 (taking up a slot once occupied by Paris Hilton, no less) wasn't just a message of hope: The searches also signaled how far the Web had come in people's lives, from shopping to political fundraising, from information gathering to news dissemination.

1. Britney Spears
2. WWE
3. Barack Obama
4. Miley Cyrus
5. RuneScape
6. Jessica Alba
7. Naruto
8. Lindsay Lohan
9. Angelina Jolie
10. American Idol

More analyses tracked what we called a "seesaw volatility" that year. Foreclosures, a plummeting stock market, and bailouts pushed the economy into the forefront of search queries. Olympians, up-and-coming celebrities, and influential women provided more uplifting news. As we said that election year, "the gravitational pull to dub 2008 as 'the year we fell off the cliff' is strong indeed. Yet even as the domino effect of domestic subprime mortgages threatens a global market collapse, a strange thing happened on the way to this meltdown: the politics of hope and Olympian spirit." (Mannie Garcia/AP Photo) less 
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Fri, Dec 14, 2012 3:00 PM EST