GoogleThose fearful that the global news agenda is becoming ever-more trivial may well shake their heads wistfully at news that Paris Hilton was Google News' top search term for 2006.

In the year of the World Cup and the rebuild after hurricane Katrina, it was ever-present celebrities, not hampered by the limited time constraints of a natural disaster or a knockout tournament, that proved stultifyingly popular as Orlando Bloom appeared as the second most-searched term.

Katrina was the fifth most-searched for term in 2006. The continuing war in Iraq did not even make the top 10 of global news searches.

Nor did the death of TV croc-botherer Steve Irwin in September, the sentencing to death of Saddam Hussein or the fury created by the publication in a Danish newspaper of cartoons offensive to some Muslims.

Yet it is the seemingly incongruous appearance of Martina Hinges as the seventh most popular search that may have many brows furrowed.

After citing injury and retiring from tennis in 2002, at the tender age of 22, with five major tournament wins under her belt the 'Swiss Miss' embarked on a come back in 2005.

Many leading figures of the tennis world doubted she could recapture her former glories. However, she has since won two of the 20-odd singles tournaments she has played and captured a grand slam mixed doubles title to boot, proving there really are second lives in professional sport and internet news.

Either that or those odd pictures that claim to show her semi-naked in the shower holding tennis equipment have inflated her rating Paris Hilton style.

Google News - Top Searches in 2006

1. Paris Hilton
2. Orlando Bloom
3. Cancer
4. Podcasting
5. Hurricane Katrina
6. Bankruptcy
7. Martina Hingis
8. Autism
9. 2006 NFL draft
10. Celebrity big brother 2006

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