01/07/2013 03:56 pm ET Updated Mar 09, 2013

Top 100 Searched News Terms on for 2012

Before we let go of 2012 , this might be a good time to review some of the most frequently searched topics on the database, used by journalists, consultants, sales representatives and a host of other clients. The searchable directory includes more than 40,000 LexisNexis sources.

Looking over the most frequently requested Nexis subject index terms and people for 2012, I guess it should come as no surprise that former Australian Prime Minister John Howard came in second just behind consumer issues as the most requested subject of the year.

With the debate over gun violence having reached fever pitch in the wake of the heartbreaking shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Conn., Australia is being championed by many as a model that the United States should follow.

Australia's watershed came on April 28, 1996, when a gun collector brandishing a semiautomatic military style weapon opened fire in Port Arthur, a popular tourist destination in the state of Tasmania, killing 35 and injuring 17.

This led Howard to take a courageous stand by introducing a series of anti-gun legislation, banning all automatic and semi-automatic weapons, and imposing strict licensing rules. ``I don't want Australia to go down the American path'', Howard reportedly said in response to negligent gun laws and high homicide rates.

Passionate supporters of the Australian model, which The New York Times described as ``a road map'' are quick to point out since the tough gun laws were enacted in Australia over 16 years ago, there hasn't been a single mass shooting.

As an added exclamation point to the gravity of gun violence, ``homicide'' was the 44th most frequently searched subject of the year.

And it's probably not surprising either, given the U.S. electorate just went through a bruising presidential election season that Barack Obama (Time Magazine's Person of the Year) was the 4th most popular search subject with Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, surprisingly enough, coming in 5th well ahead of the Republican nominee Mitt Romney who came in a distant 18th. Even Texas governor Rick Perry (9th) Ron Paul (12th), and Herman Cain (15th) came in ahead of Mr. Romney.

Judging from the Nexis list, the perilous state of affairs in the nation's capital in getting their fiscal house in order was widely searched by users this year. The ``fiscal cliff'' was the 8th most frequently searched subject this year, while ``taxation'' came in 22th, ``private equity'' the 24th and ``retirement age'', the 25th. Even the ``Bush tax cuts'' made it in the top 100, coming in no. 78 on the Nexis list.

With the 113th Congress expected to take up immigration reform, there appeared to be plenty of searches executed on this hot potato of a topic. Mexico was the 13th most frequently subject term this year. The Mexican government argues bilateral relations with the U.S. is in danger unless the U.S. federal courts block an Arizona law, SB 1070, which, among other provisions, makes it a crime for anyone to harbor illegal immigrants.

Other popular searched subjects internationally include Yemen, ranked 16th on the Nexis list. Despite a newly elected president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, Yemen remains a deeply divided country, especially in fending off strong militant attacks in the south and an Al Qaeda affiliate growing alarmingly strong. And in October, a senior Yemeni officer working in the United States Embassy in Sana was killed in an attack many believe was set off by a regional franchise of Al Qaeda.

As always, China, with the world's second largest economy, was widely searched this year, (ranked no. 21 on the Nexis list) especially this year amid revelations of government officials involved in sex scandals and government corruption during a critical juncture-as the Asian powerhouse makes a transition to a new leader, Xi Jinping, the son of a revered revolutionary leader, who plans to introduce a series of economic reforms in hopes of sustaining growth.

In the world of sports, the 113 day NHL lockout, which cancelled 625 regular season games was an issue which absorbed a great deal of Nexis users time, ranking 32 on the most frequently searched topic. Another hot topic was the issue of head injuries in the NFL as the league finds itself smothered in lawsuits from thousands of former players, claiming the league didn't fully disclose the dangers of concussions. ``Concussions'' was 34 on the Nexis list. The 2012 Summer games held in London, meanwhile, was another popular search term with ``olympics'' coming in 35th.

Former CNN host Larry King might not be seen on prime time anymore, but he certainly isn't forgotten based on the search results from The still popular and much admired suspender enthusiast ranked no. 7, just three rungs below President Obama, most likely because of news (in 2012) that he co-founded Ora TV, a production company, with Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim, which signed a multi-year exclusive deal with Hulu to exclusively carry King's new talk-oriented web series, Larry King Now, beginning July 17th.

Finally, Casey Anthony, who will be back in an Orlando court on Tuesday appealing her conviction of lying to law enforcement issues during the search for her daughter, Caylee, in the spring of 2008, ranked 55th in the most frequently searched subjects in 2012. In July, 2011, Anthony was found not guilty of first degree murder, aggravated child abuse, or aggravated manslaughter of a child. And on January 19th, Lifetime, will be airing an original movie, ``Prosecuting Casey Anthony'' starring Rob Lowe.

Bill Lucey
January 7, 2013

This article was cross-posted from

Here, then, are the top 100 searched subjects on for 2012:

1 Consumer Issues
2 John Howard
3 Truck/RV Industry
4 Barack Obama
5 Jon Huntsman
6 Leon Panetta
7 Larry King
8 Fiscal Cliff
9 Rick Perry
10 Tobacco/Smoking
11 Employee Benefits
12 Ron Paul
13 Mexico
14 Canada
15 Herman Cain
16 Yemen
17 Moqtada Al Sadr
18 Mitt Romney
19 Electric Power
20 Shipping (Water)
21 China
22 Taxation
23 Kris Kobach
24 Private Equity
25 Retirement Age
26 Mikheil Saakashvili
27 Climate Change
28 Tobacco Industry
29 Terry Mcauliffe
30 Rhode Island
31 Education
32 NHL
33 Direct Mail Industry
34 Concussions
35 Olympics
36 Animal Kingdom
37 Corporate Revenue
38 Healthcare
39 Scientology
40 Brazil
41 Meningitis
42 Ravelympics
43 Wind Energy
44 Homicide
45 Steel Industry
46 Coal Industry
47 Japan
48 Copyright
49 Human Resources
50 Mohamed Ali
51 Heart Attack
52 Hong Kong
53 Motorcycle Industry
54 Terence Mcardle
55 Casey Anthony
56 Financial Crisis
57 New Zealand
58 Chicago
59 S&P
60 Mining Industry
61 Childhood Obesity
62 Manufacturing Industry
63 Fraud
64 Animal Welfare
65 Beverage Industry
66 Banking Industry
67 Romania
68 Sign/Billboard Industry
69 Rick Scott
70 Catholic Clergy
71 David Petraeus
72 Sex Offenders
73 Food Safety
74 Syria
75 Christine Quinn
76 California
77 Computer Industry
78 Bush Tax Cut
79 Hydroelectric Energy
80 Mohamed Morsi
81 Iran
82 Mohamed Baradei
83 M&A
84 India
85 Carbon Capture
86 Connecticut
87 Erin Moran
88 Solar Energy
89 New York
90 Aluminum
91 Sochi
92 Antibiotic Resistance
93 Christmas Tree
94 Vision Benefits
95 Minimum Wage
96 Ukraine
97 Food Allergies
98 International Republican Institute
99 Libya
100 Van Jones

Source: LexisNexis