Yahoo! Web Life Editor Heather Cabot visited The Early Show to share the findings with co-anchor Harry Smith.
Cabot says her job is to look into the digital and behavioral trends online.
"In short, 550 million people come to Yahoo every month. A lot of them are doing searches for people and issues and news stories that they are interested in," she says. "We took a look at the billion of searches and we look at what the trends of the year are."
Of the overall top searches, Britney Spears is No. 1.
While the pop star's ranking was a surprise to Smith, Cabot says Spears taking the top spot is anything but. Spears has been the top searched person on Yahoo! for seven out of the eight years of looking at the trends.
What accounts for her online popularity?
"I think it's the fact that this is a person who has lived her private life in public. We feel like we know her. She's turning 27 this week and think about everything she's gone through," Cabot says. "The good news is, I think, in terms of the searches we've seen about her this past year is it went from her personal life -- the trials and tribulations -- and now it's the comeback and people seem very interested in that."
Here's a look at the Top 10 Overall Yahoo! searches for 2008:
RuneScape (largest free online gaming site in the world)
When it came to the top news searches, Cabot says hurricanes topped the list.
"What's really interesting about hurricanes -- and also what we saw in terms of the election searches -- is that this was a year where people were not just looking for news stories," she says. "They were not content to just sit back and wait for special reports ... and for storms to make landfall. They were tracking it on NOAA and the National Weather Service and looking for highway closures. [They were] being proactive.
Here's a look at the Top 10 Yahoo! News searches for 2008:
Shelley Malil (actor accused of stabbing girlfriend)
For a look at more Yahoo! Top 10 searches of the year click here.
© MMVIII, CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.