AOL In 2011: Charlie Sheen #Winning Over Other Celebrities

AOL announced its most popular global searches (United States, United Kingdom and Canada) in 2011 at While other search engines have ranked Justin Bieber and Kim K at the top for the year, Charlie Sheen proved he won the hearts of AOL users by climbing to the top of their most searched for celebrity list.

Most notable about the AOL hot searches feature this year is the ability to view the UK and Canadian top searches independently, by clicking each country flag to view the differences in search behavior among all three countries.

As AOL has over 60 million montly unique visitors in the UK alone (Comscore May 2011), Brits turned to AOL for the latest on major news events such as the London Riots and the Red Arrows crash. Interestingly, Twitter and Google+ both made the top 10 memes list in the UK as well.

With the worldwide buzz surrounding the Royal Wedding, it’s also not that surprising that British beauties Kate Middleton, Amy Winehouse and Pippa Middleton appeared on all three country lists with the headlines they each made respectively in 2011.

Also in the celebrity wedding category, it was a pleasant surprise to see Reese Witherspoon topped Kim K & Kris H for wedding related searches in the US, and searches related to Sir Paul McCartney’s nuptials to third wife Nancy Shevell put them the top 10 as well as 9 other couples, all of whom who have thus far been married longer than 72 days.

New this year on AOL’s top searches list are the question categories, gives insight into the most popular questions consumers asked of the search engine in 2011. While the question format certainly isn’t new to online searchers, it is the first year AOL has shared that data.

AOL has created a special section for ranking the hottest trends in search during 2011, where you’ll be able to see more categories including Sports, Music, TV, Tech Gadgets and travel destinations, in addition to the ones below. You’ll be able to click through each top 10 to the relevant search results.

One quick shout-out on the top travel destinations – my home state of Maine came in 8th for “Maine Vacations” – a rare, but well earned appearance, perhaps following the 2010 vacation of the presidential family, or the fact that celebrities like John Travolta, Martha Stewart and Kirstie Alley have vacation homes there.

Top 2011 AOL Search Highlights


  1. Charlie Sheen
  2. Justin Bieber
  3. Kate Middleton
  4. Jennifer Aniston
  5. Kim Kardashian
  6. Tiger Woods
  7. Lindsay Lohan
  8. Amy Winehouse
  9. Glenn Beck
  10. Pippa Middleton


  1. Casey Anthony Trial
  2. Gabrielle Giffords Shooting
  3. Royal Wedding
  4. Japan Earthquake
  5. Arab Spring
  6. Penn State Scandal
  7. Osama bin Laden Death
  8. Occupy Wall Street
  9. Debt Ceiling Debate
  10. European Debt Crisis


  1. Ted Williams
  2. Planking
  3. Serene Branson
  4. Anonymous
  5. My Little Pony
  6. Ancient Aliens
  7. Nyan Cat
  8. Rebecca Black Friday
  9. Tiger Mom
  10. Qwikster

Presidential Candidates

  1. Barack Obama
  2. Herman Cain
  3. Michele Bachmann
  4. Rick Perry
  5. Ron Paul
  6. Mitt Romney
  7. Newt Gingrich
  8. Rick Santorum
  9. Jon Huntsman
  10. Gary Johnson


  1. How can I pay off my credit card?
  2. How tall is Katy Perry?
  3. How can I stop snoring?
  4. How did Valentine’s Day start?
  5. How do you lock your scroll bar?
  6. How much is my jewelry worth?
  7. How many ounces in a gallon?
  8. How do I change my AOL password?
  9. How much should I weigh?
  10. How did Punxsutawney Phil get his name?


  1. Is Whitney Houston pregnant?
  2. Is the iPhone 3GS free?
  3. Is Dolly Parton her real name?
  4. Is Cancun safe for tourists?
  5. Is Roseanne Barr a nut farmer?
  6. Is heartburn a sign of pregnancy?
  7. Is shingles contagious?
  8. Is Facebook going to charge?
  9. Is there life after death?
  10. Is rosemary good for stretch marks?


  1. Why did Dick leave Big Brother?
  2. Why did the original Becky leave Roseanne?
  3. Why did William and Kate split in 2007?
  4. Why did Paul Ryan found the Young Guns program?
  5. Why did the chicken cross the road?
  6. Why did Glenn Beck leave Fox?
  7. Why did Ricky Gervais quit Twitter?
  8. Why did Japan attack Pearl Harbor?
  9. Why did my hair thin after giving birth?
  10. Why did Jerry Lewis leave MDA?

Related Topics: AOL | AOL: General | Channel: Consumer | Search & Society: General


About The Author: is Director of Audience Development for Search Engine Land and Marketing Land. She is responsible for increasing readership through owned, earned and paid media channels. In addition, she assists in programming sessions at Third Door Media's Search Marketing Expo conference series and manages speaking engagements for editorial staff. Follow her on Twitter @elisabethos.

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