Weekly business rail, with a look at the top Web searches of 2012, BBB tips for finding a kennel for your pet this holiday, and more.
Tip of the Week
This year marked a time of change, innovation, trials and hope. But what was the most memorable moment of 2012? A great place to start is with online searches, as they mark the people, places and events that mattered most in a given year. With the new year quickly approaching, it's time to take a look back at 2012, and reflect on what captured America's attention. Here are the top searches on Bing in 2012:
- Most-searched people
- For the second time in three years, Kim K. earned the top spot as the most-searched-for person. But Kim wasn't the only Kardashian to keep up with. This year Khloe Kardashian and Kourtney Kardashian rounded out the top three most-searched reality stars.
- Girls ruled the world - or at least the top 10 - with Justin Bieber being the only male to break through as the second most-searched-for person. He also retained his title as the most-searched musician of the year, with on-again, off-again girlfriend Selena Gomez earning the fourth spot.
- Honey Boo Boo's special juice did more than help her win a few toddler beauty pageants. Seven-year-old Alana, better known as Honey Boo Boo, captured the hearts and minds of America, showing up as the sixth most-searched reality TV star and seventh most-searched TV show.
- NFL veteran Peyton Manning had his most successful season yet as the quarterback for the Denver Broncos, topping the list as the most-searched athlete in 2012.
- The battle for living rooms across America continues, and this year "The Ellen Degeneres Show" dominated daytime talk, while "Good Morning America" stole the top spot for morning talk show.
Most-searched news stories and celebrity events
- Speculation and release of the iPhone 5 earned the top spot as the most-searched-for news story of 2012. But that wasn't the only technology to capture people's attention as the new Kindle HD, Facebook IPO and Marissa Mayers' move from Google to Yahoo also drove a large amount of searches.
- This year, Americans exercised their civic right to vote ... and to search. The U.S. elections was the second most-searched event of the year. From Big Bird to binders, people were riveted by the constant ups and downs of the campaign trail.
- The fanfare surrounding the London Olympics made it the third most-searched event. Olympic newcomer McKayla Maroney was among the top-searched Olympic athletes, along with gold medal veterans Michael Phelps and Serena Williams.
- A star has been born. The birth of Beyonce and Jay-Z's first child, Blue Ivy Carter, was the celebrity event of the year, while Chris Brown and Rihanna were the most searched celeb couple.
- More notable No. 1s
- With reality TV now one of the most popular genres on the small screen, it is no surprise that "American Idol" was the most-searched show for the second straight year, while "Dancing with the Stars" shimmied its way into the No. 2 spot.
- Facebook continued to dominate the world of social media, coming in at No. 1 as the most-searched-for social medium. Meanwhile, Twitter's 140-character movement continued to grow, becoming the second most-searched social media site.
- With his crazy outfits, and even crazier dance moves, Psy's international hit "Gangnam Style" came in as the most-searched song of the year, while Carley Rae Jepsen was second for her catchy tune "Call Me Maybe."
- Action packed and chock full of everyone's favorite heroes, "The Avengers" wasn't just a summer blockbuster, it was the most searched for movie of 2012.
As much as pet owners may want to take their furry or feathered friends with them wherever they go over the holidays, sometimes pets cannot come with. Finding a trustworthy kennel or pet care service becomes essential. The Better Business Bureau has created a checklist to help pet owners choose a safe and reliable home-away-from-home for their pets.
- Check the kennel out with the BBB first to make sure they have a good track record for keeping customers satisfied: www.bbb.org.
- Consult friends, neighbors, veterinarian or local animal shelters for recommendations.
- Personally visit the facilities. Check for cleanliness and offensive odors, and note the overall safety of the kennel and cages.
- If your pet is prone to running away, ask about steps the kennel has taken to make their facilities escape-proof.
- Ask about how your pet may come in contact with other animals. Some kennels let animals play together, while others keep them separate at all times.
- Ask about the feeding schedule, water accessibility and frequency of - or fees related to - exercise.
- Note the friendliness of staff members and how they interact with the other boarding pets. Ask about their background and experience.
- Make sure the facility requires that all entering pets have proof of immunization, and ask about their policies regarding flea and tick control.
- Ask about the hours for drop-off and pickup, and make sure you understand their billing policy.
- Ask what happens in the case of a medical emergency or other unexpected situations.
For more advice on finding reputable businesses around the holidays, visit www.bbb.org.
According to The Street, here are five alternatives to being home for the holidays:
- Apple FaceTime
- Google+ Hangouts
Number to Know
$2.5 billion: The value of U.S. toy imports including stuffed toys (including dolls), puzzles and electric trains from China between January and September 2011. China was the leading country of origin for stuffed toys coming into this country, as well as for a number of other popular holiday gifts. – U.S. Census Bureau
Apple recently released a new desktop computer, one that is super skinny. Prices for the 21.5-inch iMac start at $1,299.
GateHouse News Service