Michael Jackson tops Bing charts

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Michael Jackson hits #1 on Bing

Michael Jackson has emerged as the most popular search term on Bing this year.

The late pop singer heads the list of top keywords on Microsoft's new search engine, following analysis of billions of queries worldwide. The term ranked ahead of Twitter, swine flu, stock market and Farah Fawcett respectively.

It is a similar story over at the world's largest search engine. Google Trends shows that the term Michael Jackson peaked on Google in late June 2009 when news broke of the singer's premature death. However, sustained interest in the singer over the second half of the year kept it ahead of the rest of the top five.

Michael Jackson leads Twitter on Google

Using Michael Jackson's popularity as a benchmark, Twitter generated 90 per cent as much traffic on Google while swine flu accounted for 35 per cent. Interestingly, Twitter has maintained a relatively steady growth trajectory over the course of the year while the rest of the top five terms have fluctuated wildly, suggesting the micro-blogging tool is here to stay.

Launched in June 2009, Bing has gone head to head with search market leader Google. Microsoft set aside a reported marketing budget of £61 million to promote the benefits of its so-called "decision engine", which succeeded the long-running portal MSN Live Search.

According to independent figures from digital trend tracker comScore, Microsoft accounted for 9.9 per cent of all US searches in October 2009