Searches Go 'Rogue'

Palin-o-mania gripped every facet of the culture last week, from the fruitless and confusingly engrossing search for Levi's johnson to the full-court Sarah Palin press push for her new book "Going Rogue."

The conflux of these two events gives you a fairly accurate idea of where the online search psyche is at.

To wit: searches for "sarah palin" increased threefold last week over the week before, according to Experian Hitwise data, and while she did crack the top 100 most-searched terms in the Hitwise top list, the attention did not reach the level of interest she achieved online when the McCain camp first announced her as the vice presidential candidate.

But, perhaps spurred on by a coquettishly posed Palin on the cover of Newsweek, there seemed to be one thing on the top of searchers' minds. Of the 1,600 search terms that contained the word "palin," the term "sarah palin hot photos" came in at No. 2.

But it wasn't only smut engines and Playgirl that took advantage of the media storm.

Booksellers did what they could to capitalize on this traffic, of course, with Barnes & Noble reaping the greatest benefit from paid search for the term "going rogue" -- for which 23% of clicks went to paid listings, and Amazon getting the most paid search hits from both "going rogue sarah palin," for which 14% went to paid listings, and "sarah palin book," which saw 78% of clicks go to paid listings.

The aforementioned press tour surrounding the book's release led Jon Stewart to rant on "The "Daily Show": "When you peel back the pretty shooty layers of the Palin onion there's no onion; it's just a conservative boiler plate Mad Lib." But he also called out MSNBC on its apparently blasé use of racy pics of the ex-Gov that had long ago been discredited as cheap photoshop hoaxes. These, of course, were the very sort of images that the Hitwise data indicates so many people were trying to find. Though it now seems quite possible that most of those people work in the cable news industry.

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