What's the Buzz About? An Empirical Examination of Search on Yahoo!

First Monday, Vol. 10, No. 1, January 2005

25 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2005

See all articles by Nicole Bladow

Nicole Bladow

University of Washington, Bothell

Cari Dorey

University of Washington

Elizabeth A. Frederickson

University of Washington

Pavla Grover

University of Washington, Bothell

Yvette Knudtson

University of Washington, Bothell

Sandeep Krishnamurthy

University of Washington, Bothell - E-Commerce and Marketing

Voula Lazarou

Independent

Abstract

We present an analysis of the Yahoo Buzz Index over a period of 45 weeks. Our key findings are that: (1) It is most common for a search term to show up on the index for one week, followed by two weeks, three weeks, etc. Only two terms persist for all 45 weeks studied - Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez. Search term longevity follows a power-law distribution or a winner-take-all structure; (2) Most search terms focus on entertainment. Search terms related to serious topics are found less often. The Buzz Index does not necessarily follow the news cycle; and, (3) We provide two ways to determine star power of various search terms - one that emphasizes staying power on the Index and another that emphasizes rank. In general, the methods lead to dramatically different results. Britney Spears performs well in both methods. We conclude that the data available on the Index is symptomatic of a celebrity-crazed, entertainment-centered culture.

Keywords: Yahoo, Google, Search, Star Power, Celebrity, Culture

Suggested Citation

Bladow, Nicole and Dorey, Cari and Frederickson, Elizabeth A. and Grover, Pavla and Knudtson, Yvette and Krishnamurthy, Sandeep and Lazarou, Voula, What's the Buzz About? An Empirical Examination of Search on Yahoo!. First Monday, Vol. 10, No. 1, January 2005, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=667404

Nicole Bladow

University of Washington, Bothell ( email )

18115 Campus Way NE
Bothell, WA 98011
United States

Cari Dorey

University of Washington

Seattle, WA 98195
United States

Elizabeth A. Frederickson

University of Washington ( email )

Seattle, WA 98195
United States

Pavla Grover

University of Washington, Bothell

18115 Campus Way NE
Bothell, WA 98011
United States

Yvette Knudtson

University of Washington, Bothell ( email )

18115 Campus Way NE
Bothell, WA 98011
United States

Sandeep Krishnamurthy (Contact Author)

University of Washington, Bothell - E-Commerce and Marketing ( email )

Business Administration Program, UW-1-233
18115, Campus Way NE
Bothell, WA Washington State 98011
United States
(425) 352 5229 (Phone)
(425) 352 5277 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://faculty.washington.edu/sandeep

Voula Lazarou

Independent

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