Inevitably, as the calendar turns to December and we get closer to closing out another year, our attention turns to one of our favorite pastimes – making lists.

We'll have the 'top athletes of the year,' 'the top movies of the year' and even the 'top celebrity scandals of the year,' but what about the Internet?

Fortunately, we have a really simple way of measuring what the top 'buzz' on the Internet was for 2009 – search engine terms. Each of the top search engines just published their top 10 lists for the Top 10 Searches of 2009. Let's take a fun look at the lists published in Business Week that might give us a little bit of insight into the modern human being's head.

Google's Fastest Rising Search Terms (Global)

  1. michael jackson
  2. facebook
  3. tuenti
  4. twitter
  5. sanalika
  6. new moon
  7. lady gaga
  8. windows 7
  10. torpedo gratis
Yahoo's Top 10 Searches
  1. Michael Jackson
  2. Twilight
  3. WWE
  4. Megan Fox
  5. Britney Spears
  6. Naruto
  7. American Idol
  8. Kim Kardashian
  10. RuneScape
Bing's Top Trending Topics
  1. Michael Jackson
  2. Twitter
  3. Swine Flu
  4. Stock Market
  5. Farrah Fawcett
  6. Patrick Swayze
  7. Cash for Clunkers
  8. Jon and Kate Gosselin
  9. Billy Mays
  10. Jaycee Dugard
What are the trends? Well, one thing is obvious – nothing created more of an Internet stir in 2009 than the death of the King of Pop. No person or thing was searched for more than Michael Jackson. In fact, the Internet probably played a fairly unique role in the whole saga as millions of people got the news from either a Facebook post or someone's Tweet on Twitter.

The next thing that is obvious is that Internet users love celebrities. Just take a look at these names that showed up prominently in all three lists – Lady Gaga, Billy Mays, Patrick Swayze, Farrah Fawcett, and Jon and Kate Gosselin. People love reading about celebrities especially when they die or are involved in something controversial. (This list was published before the Tiger Woods news broke so you can bet he'll be high on the list as well!)

You can also gauge the hot topics by looking at this list – swine flu, stock market and cash for clunkers all made their way onto a list of the top trending topics for 2009. With the world becoming as 'wired in' as it ever has been, it's not surprising that the same hot topics that frequent the evening news broadcasts and the daily newspapers also top the search engines as well.

It's always interesting to see what's on the minds of the average Internet user (other than World of Warcraft and Porn, of course) and these lists give you a pretty good idea of that for this past year.

All of this is to basically say that, hey, our society has become intertwined with the Internet. You can't separate one from the other any longer. Armed with this knowledge, you might ask, what's going to be the hot topic for 2010? Bring up your favorite search engine and you just might find out!