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The Sultan of Search at Lycos50

Techstination feature for Friday, August 17, 2001

What's hot and what's not on the Web? Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. It's a new way to take the pulse of the public. Aaron Schatz has been dubbed the Sultan of Search... but his official title is producer of the Lycos 50... .

"The Lycos 50 is an authoritative list of the people, places and things that folks are searching for on the Internet. Every week, we count the millions of queries that come to the Lycos search engine, we put them all together and we come out with a top 50 list of the 50 most popular topics on the Internet that week."

Many of the topics change from week to week... .but not all...

"In fact we've been doing this for two years now, we have eight topics that have been in the top 50 the whole time. Britney, Pamela Anderson, Jennifer Lopez, the WWF, tattoos, Las Vegas, the Japanese animation of Dragonball and Pokemon."

Popular movies also make the list from week to week. During the presidential election campaign... the candidates were up there too. The Code Red Worm Virus ranked right up there recently. Once in a while there are surprises... and the list can predict future trends...

"Yeah, that's a lot of what we do is that we do predictions based on what's getting a lot of searches now compared to other things. You know when you have two movies that are coming out the same week and one gets a lot more searches than the other, you can pretty much determine that the one will be a much bigger movie than the other."

The site is Yahoo posts a daily ranking of top searches on its site at Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.