Jennifer Laycock

Jennifer Laycock


It seems appropriate that a TV show called "Lost" would spark a surge in online searches. I'm sure that John Locke would have something profound to say about the irony of that.

According to data from AOL and Wordtracker, there been quite a bit of search activity surrounding the season finale of the popular ABC series. I got in touch with Susan Timcheck, Corporate Communications Coordinator from AOL and asked her to dig up some information for me on any search queries that AOL users might be running in regards to Lost.

Timcheck was able to tell me that Lost moved into the top 100 list of searches for the entire AOL search index on Thursday. Not surprising since Wednesday night's two hour finale left fans with more questions than answers.

It's also not surprising to see which stars generated the most fan interest on the engines. Actress Evangeline Lilly (Kate) led the pack with actors Josh Holloway (Sawyer), Matthew Fox (Jack) and Dominic Monaghan (Charlie) tagging along. Wordtracker backs those stats up showing projected Google searches of about 700 a day for Lilly, 150 for Holloway and 125 for Fox. Surprisingly, Wordtracker puts Monaghan ahead of the other guys by projecting about 500 searches a day on Google. (Guess those Google searchers are fans of both Lost and Lord of the Rings...)

It's not just the actors that are racking up the searches though. The complex plot lines and unresolved mysteries have sparked a huge surge in searches for spoilers, discussion forums and information about season two. In fact, searches for information about the season finale and next year's spoilers topped those for Monaghan.

Some of the phrases that show up on Wordtracker show fan searches for pretty specific information on plot points. Multiple users are searching for the name of the mysterious French song translated by Shannon and Sayid in an episode partway through the season. Lost fan fiction is always drawing a crowd with fans eager to write their own continuations of the story lines.

With fans being forced to wait until fall to find out the answers to some of their questions, it's likely that Lost will remain a popular search topic throughout the summer. With content based ad programs like AdSense in existence, there's plenty of motivation for fans to devote time and effort to creating site after site devoted to the endless speculation about what's at the bottom of that hatch, why so many characters have intersecting pasts and what exactly causes those trees to be pulled out by the roots and launched into the sky.

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May 27, 2005

Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.

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