Wed, Dec 04, 2013 - Page 4 News List

Web searches reflect citizens’ concerns: Yahoo-Kimo

KEYWORDS:Yahoo’s local branch said the most-searched-for terms show which issues netizens are most interested in, with baseball, pandas and food safety on top this year

By Chen Ping-hung and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A popular television series, sports, panda cubs, comics and toxic foods were among the top 10 most-searched-for items this year on Yahoo-Kimo Inc, the Taiwanese unit of Yahoo Inc, the online search engine said.

Despite being spread across a broad range of categories, Yahoo-Kimo said the keywords all related to everyday life in Taiwan, citing “baseball” and “toxic starch” — the first and third-most popular terms respectively — as examples.

The popularity of “baseball” searches was driven primarily by the EDA Rhinos’ signing of Manny Ramirez in March, as well as the Chinese Professional Baseball League Championship, this year’s Asia Series tournament and the Brother Elephants being put up for sale.

“Toxic starch” became a hot search term after authorities in May discovered that some manufacturers had been putting maleic anhydride-laced starch in their food products.

Food safety continued to be a popular topic following the emergence of two high-profile food scandals: the Top Pot Bakery chain getting caught using artificial flavoring agents in its products — despite touting them as being all-natural — and the recent revelation that several brands of edible oils were illicitly mixed with cottonseed oil and copper chlorophyllin, a colorant.

Searches for “color runs” went up by 60 percent after a color race event was held in September, making it the eighth-most popular search term this year, said Eponine Chen (陳婉怡), senior director of marketing at Yahoo-Kimo.

In second place was TV drama Lord Lanling (蘭陵王), with the widely popular mobile app Tower of Saviors (神魔之塔) in fourth and comic book Attack on Titan (進擊的巨人) at No. 5, followed by singer-actress Kuo Hsueh-fu (郭雪芙), who recently also grabbed the title of “No. 1 Dream Girl” in an online poll.

Yuan Zai (圓仔), the offspring of Taipei Zoo’s giant pandas, Yuan Yuan (圓圓) and Tuan Tuan (團團), came in as the seventh-most-searched-for term, while the No. 9 spot was claimed by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman’s Rubber Duck installation, while “hot air balloons” occupied 10th place due to a hot air balloon carnival that took place in June.

According to Chen, more than 90 percent of netizens look things up online every day on a multitude of search engines, adding that this year’s biggest trends seem to be gastronomy and traveling, with seven of the top 10 keywords falling under these two categories.

This shows that Taiwanese Internet users are mostly concerned with issues pertaining to their everyday lives and society, she said.

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