Microsoft’ search engine Bing posted a story about the news stories that generated the most searches in 2011. Not surprisingly, there seems to be a correlation between these stories and TV news ratings surrounding them.
The number one news story of 2011 according to Bing? The Casey Anthony Trial. The trial generated boffo ratings for HLN and CNN, and boosted the ratings of MSNBC and Fox News as well.
Rounding out the top 10:
The death of Osama bin Laden, Hurricane Irene, the Japan tsunami/earthquake, the death of Amy Winehouse, the Joplin tornado, the Conrad Murray trial, 10th anniversary of 9/11, the GOP primary and the Haiti earthquake one-year anniversary.
Most of those events generated strong tune-in for both broadcast and cable news.
While Bing is far behind Google in terms of market share, it is reasonable to extrapolate that the most searched terms on the search engine would be in line with those on Google, given the large sample size.