Since 2001, Yahoo! has dipped into billions of searches to uncover our audience's curiosities, interests, and what matters most to them. Unlike editorial retrospectives or surveys, the rankings come from online users’ own search behavior. Looking back, these lists truly sketch a society in motion: It's a unique way to gauge social trends and interests in the year’s top stop stories, compelling newsmakers, and viral fads.
Take a look back at a dozen years of Top 10s to see how the Web has grown — and see what preoccupied readers in 2012.