Pageants, Slumdogs and Marathons: Top Local Mobile Searches From Coast to Coast

We’ve already seen the Top Ten Yahoo! Mobile Searches of the year, but trends differ by city. While Craigslist and movies bring mobile users together, it turns out New York loves pageantry, San Fran loves LA b-ball, and Chicagoans always favor their home teams to win.

The Big Apple
In the New York area, Yahoo! Mobile searchers looked for blockbusters. The buzziest movie of the year was Inglourious Basterds, followed closely by X-Men Origins. Paranormal Activity was also hot — word of the film was often spread by SMS. Besides films, New Yorkers wanted news on Dancing With the Stars and celebs including Scarlett Johansson (and her nuptials) and Kourtney Kardashian.

Beauty contests may have found a new market: The Miss Universe pageant was a major mobile event. Searches wanted pics of the lovely ladies as well as news. General news searches for top stories were common, and searchers clicked for information on specific companies including GE and AIG as the economic crisis deepend. Texting while driving, the lunar impact video, and China iPhone news were also hot topics.

Customization was buzzy, too: was a heavily searched ringtones site. And of course, when people wanted to know the weather, they typed weather (a wild one in 2009, from wet springs to ice-cold winters). And when they felt lucky, checked their numbers for the Powerball lottery. And when they needed find a job, an apartment, or a free couch, they turned to Craigslist via Yahoo! Mobile.

Top New York Mobile Buzz 2009
1. Inglourious Basterds
3. Miss Universe
4. Powerball
5. Kourtney Kardashian
6. Top News Stories
7. Weather
8. Dancing With the Stars
9. Scarlett Johanssen
10. Craigslist

The Bay Aree
In San Francisco, people consulted mobiles for movie marquee info. The top flick was “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” which buzzed neck and neck with “X-Men Origins” and the newest Harry Potter. Oscar-winner “Slumdog Millionaire” was also big in mobile search. Entertainment-related searches focused on actress Jennifer Aniston and singer Rihanna, whose domestic dispute with boyfriend Chris Brown made headlines.

San Franciscans were particularly interested in economic developments. BAC, the ticker symbol for Bank of America, shot up in Buzz, as did C (Citigroup) and GE.

Interestingly, it was an LA team that captured Bay Area sports fans’ interest. The Los Angeles Lakers won the buzz and the NBA title this year, and the NFL was the most searched league. Other casual pursuits: As in many markets, Craigslist was a top search term and people were looking to connect via MySpace and online dating sites like

SF Bay Area Mobile Buzz 2009
1. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
2. MySpace
3. Bank of America
4. Craigslist
5. Slumdog Millionaire
7. Los Angeles Lakers
8. Jennifer Aniston
9. NFL
10. Rihanna

The Windy City
In Chicago, local events provided the biggest spikes. Taste of Chicago, the world’s largest food festival, and the city’s bid for the Olympics garnered big buzz, as did the Chicago Marathon and the annual Air and Water Show. Tourists likely helped drive traffic for Navy Pier and other vacation-related queries including Sears Tower, nightlife, and museums.

If loyalty can be measured by mobile usage, Third Coasters are the fiercest fans of their hometown sports leagues. Baseball queries topped the genre, with the Cubbies beating out the White Sox for volume. The Chicago Bears football team (and searches on their logo, team draft, and website) were the most searched team.

Unsurprisingly, weather was a big Chicagoland concern. Locals also wanted Craigslist data, bus and train schedules from the CTA, and news from local media outlets like the Chicago Tribune and the Sun Times.

Top Chicago Mobile Searches of 2009
1. Taste of Chicago
2. Baseball
3. Chicago Bears
4. Weather
5. Chicago Marathon
6. Chicago Bulls
7. Craigslist
8. Chicago Air and Water Show
9. Media Outlets
10. Navy Pier

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