Yahoo! Alerts Gone Awry?

Because I like to monitor my name, Bill Hartzer, to make sure I’m kept up to date on all of my new “mentions” on the web, several years ago I set up Google Alerts and Yahoo! Alerts for my name. If there is a new mention of my name, then I’m supposed to get an alert via email. It’s a pretty cool service: when it works.

The past couple of days I have been getting Yahoo! Alerts on my name all of a sudden, and I know that it’s not because I suddenly became more popular online. In fact, it’s been years since I set up this Yahoo! Alert on my name and for at least two years I have never received any alerts. So I figured it just wasn’t working. But all of a sudden there are new alerts. Okay, well maybe they got it working again? Who knows?

But today, I get this alert from Yahoo!:

yahoo alerts



There is a Yahoo! alert for MY NAME, Bill Hartzer, and all of the pages are related to Europe. I was curious, so I actually went to the Europe wikipedia page to see if I got a link or a mention on the Europe wikipedia page. Nope! By the way, it really isn’t that far fetched: I could actually have gotten a link because of my blogging. After all, I have a link from the Twitter wikipedia page. Just goes to show that if you write good content, you will get natural links from great sites linking to your site or blog post.

So, back to Yahoo! Alerts. This is really kind of weird, though: that Yahoo! for some reason would associate my name with the keyword “Europe” for some reason. And, not only that, they’re associating my name with other Europe-related web pages.

I am I missing something here?

Why would I possibly receive a Yahoo! Alert via email from their service–associating me with Europe?

YouTube Does the Harlem Shake

If you haven’t seen the Harlem Shake yet, well, you probably could be considered to be officially “out of it” and not hip to what’s going on on the web now. And most of us have already been in a Harlem Shake video already. Others, like, me, just refuse to be in one of those videos.

There have been a lot of great viral videos over the years, but nothing has come close to the Harlem Shake and all the people who are getting inspired to make their own Harlem Shake videos. I personally like the Miami Heat’s Harlem Shake Video.

Now, though, even YouTube itself has been inspired to do the Harlem Shake.

If you search “do the harlem shake” over at, you’ll get somewhat of an “easter egg” by YouTube, the interface will come alive and literally do the “Harlem Shake”. Check it out below:

Hat tip goes to my buddy Barry for finding and reporting this.

By the way, even our team at Standing Dog has done our own version of the Harlem Shake:

Top 10 Search Keywords for Portland Oregon 2012

What did residents of Portland, Oregon search for during 2012? Well, Google has released the top 10 keywords (search terms) that people searched for–while they were in Portland, Oregon. Why would we possibly want to know what people in Portland Oregon searched for? Why do we care? Well, I honestly can say that I have no idea. Why, Google, would you pick Portland Oregon of all the cities in America–or even in the world, for that matter? Who knows?

Anyhow, here are the top 10 search terms on Google that originated from Portland Oregon in 2012:

The following terms make up Google’s Portland top ten searched list:

1. Portland Public Schools
2. Craigslist Portland
3. LA Fitness Portland
4. Costco
5. Olympics 2012
6. Easter 2012
7. OnPoint Community Credit Union
8. iPhone 5
9. Mother’s Day 2012
10. Mega Millions

Wait. There still is hope. Google has actually released the top ten search terms nationally (United States), as well. The following terms make up Google’s national top ten searched list:

1. Whitney Houston
2. Hurricane Sandy
3. Election 2012
4. Hunger Games
5. Jeremy Lin
6. Olympics 2012
7. Amanda Todd
8. Gangnam Style
9. Michael Clarke Duncan
10. Kony 2012

Google says that these keyword phrases come from local IP addresses searched on which are then ranked in order by volume of searches. Every year Google highlights the top ten most searched terms in most major metropolitan cities across the United States.

According to Google, for the first time this year they also looked at the top 10 most searched restaurants on Zagat in Portland, Ore. The list is headed by Pok Pok, Le Pigeon, Castagna, and Portland City Grill.

The 11 Types of Alexa Hot URLs and How to Get There

Alexa Hot URLs
Alexa is a subsidiary company of typically known for its rankings of websites. The Alexa Toolbar collects data on the web browsing behavior of those who have it installed. That data is then used for its rankings of the top 500 websites and showing traffic details of sites like mine.

It is important to note that it has been widely rumored over the years that the Alexa rankings can be manipulated fairly easily. The Alexa Rankings, however, are different than the Alexa Hot URLs, which isn’t as easily manipulated and therefore I would assume is more accurate. The Alexa Hot URLs is a list of the hottest web pages on the internet right now according to the Alexa Toolbar; and the list is updated every five minutes.

There are several ways to use the Alexa Hot URLs list. From a website owner’s standpoint, getting one of your website’s URLs to show up on this list means that “you’ve made it”. It also means that your website’s search engine rankings are going to change (for the better) and your website is (or soon will be) getting better organic search engine rankings because your site traffic is up. And from a web surfer’s standpoint, it’s certainly an interesting place to start your web surfing: the list shows what’s hot right now, the websites that everyone’s visiting right now. Quite often it’s full of the latest top news stories, but it’s also filled with lots of other stuff: and that’s the whole point of me writing this.

I have watched the Alexa Top URLs for over a month and determined that the list can be broken into certain types of URLs. After categorizing them, I have analyzed each type to determine exactly how and why that type of web page appears on the list of Alexa Hot URLs and added comments on how you would get your site on the list if you own a similar website. These are not necessarily in any order of importance or any order of how often they appear.

The Mainstream Media News Article
If it’s major news, then it’s most likely going to be covered multiple times and all the major news websites are covering it. Quite often, there will be more than one article covering the same topic.
Examples – articles, articles, local FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS news affiliate website articles
How often It Stays – As long as it’s news, people will still be interested in it. These don’t stay around for a while, a few hours at best. Longer if the article has gone popular or hot on a social bookmarking site like Digg.
How You Get There – If you’re a mainstream news site, putting the article on your site’s home page and promoting it on other sites will certainly help. Make sure the article is optimized with the proper title tag and include links to socialize the article like a link to,,,, and A link to StumbleUpon may help, as well. If it’s big news, getting picked up by Drudge will help. The news site should also be in Google News and in Yahoo News, which also helps.

The Mainstream Media Link Bait Article
Classic linkbait articles with nifty headlines still will pull in readers. Linkbait is not just for bloggers, the mainstream media has been using it for years and still use it. “How to” articles and “Things you didn’t know” type of articles still are highly read.
Examples – MSN and Yahoo! are notorious for these types of mainstream linkbait articles. Here’s one by MSN and
How often It Stays – Usually at least a day or so, it really depends on how long the main site wants is featuring it. If it’s an article, then the traffic is usually from MSN and they’re pushing it. If it’s a subdomain of Yahoo!, like, then the traffic is mainly from
How You Get There – The mainstream sites know how to get their article there: feature it on the home page. Certainly pushing it out through social media bookmarking sites will help, but mainly the traffic is already there and it’s just a matter of featuring it somewhere. [Read more...]

KeywordSmash Free Keyword Research Tool Launched


As a blogger, online marketer, writer, and a shameless self-promoter, I am always on the hunt for content and ideas for creating online content. I totally agree with whoever coined the phrase, “content is king”. I have to admit that sometimes I get writer’s block or, as I like to call it, “promoter’s block”. Whatever you call it, sometimes you just need a place to start, a place to enter a keyword phrase to get started. I finally found that place, called KeywordSmash!, a free keyword research tool that lets you search every major online keyword research and content source you could imagine. And yes, it’s completely free to use.

keywordsmash homepage

KeywordSmash is pretty simple to use. Enter a keyword phrase and it lets you choose a category, such as:
- Offers (sites where you can make money)
- Keywords (keyword research websites)
- Trends (what people are talking about)
- Demographics (Google Insights,, Alexa data, etc.)
- Ads (pay per click ads)
- Social Media Sites (what people are talking about on the social media sites)
- News (Google news, Yahoo! news, etc.)
- Discussions (forums, message boards)
- Articles (article sites)
- Images (pretty pictures)
- Video (videos)
- Public Domain (Wikipedia content, US Gov content, Creative Commons)

After you pick a source (or several sources), click on the “search” button and it will automatically find content and related content for you from those sources. For example, I recently used the tool to search for the keyword phrase, “search engine optimization”:


I clicked on the “news” button for all of the latest news on search engine optimization. This way, I was able to quickly and easily find all the latest news articles on that topic. If I was writing a blog post or had a blog about search engine optimization, then I would probably mention what’s going on today in the search engine optimization industry. [Read more...]

Paris Hilton Fires Back at John McCain; Stays At Top of Search Phrases

Paris Hilton fired back at John McCain in response to Presidential Candidate John McCain’s recent television ad. John McCain’s TV ad compared Senator Barack Obama to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. Paris Hilton stayed atop the Lycos to(TM) Top Search Terms for the week ending August 2nd, 2008. Every week Lycos comes out with a list of the top 50 most popular search phrases for the previous week.

Here’s some video to watch about the Paris Hilton and John McCain:

And here’s another:

Because of the buzz around Presidential Candidate John McCain’s most television ad, Paris Hilton remains on top once again. John McCain’s tv ad also mentions Britney Spears, which is 10th on the list this week. Here’s the list for this week:

The Lycos 50 Top 10 Search Terms for the Week Ending Aug. 2, 2008:
1. Paris Hilton
2. Clay Aiken
3. YouTube
4. Danica Patrick
5. “The Dark Knight”
6. Angelina Jolie
7. Pamela Anderson
8. Christian Bale
9. Facebook
10. Britney Spears

Lycos also comes out every week with their “movers and shakers” list, a list of search phrases that jumped in popularity suddenly; previously the phrases did not have much search activity. Here’s the list for this week of the top mover and shakers and how much they jumped:

Biggest Movers and Shakers for Week Ending Aug. 2, 2008:
1. Manny Ramirez 700 %
2. California Earthquake 633 %
3. Randy Pausch 610 %
4. Ryan Seacrest 585 %
5. Heath Ledger 515 %
6. Jennifer Lopez 470 %
7. Christina Aguilera 400 %
8. Jonas Brothers 380 %
9. Teen Choice Awards 305 %
10. Mary Louise Parker 265 %

Former Red Sox player Manny Ramirez, Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch, and “Weeds” Actress Mary Louise Parker were amongst the biggest gainers. search activity increased 610 percent for Carnegie Mellon University Professor Randy Pausch who lost his very dramatic battle to cancer on Aug. 1st. Randy Pausch became an inspiration to millions of people after a farewell speech he delivered at Carnegie Mellon University titled “The Last Lecture,” which resulted in a best-selling book. The video of Randy Pausch’s speech has been viewed on YouTube more than five million times, and The Last Lecture has been translated into 30 languages, with nearly 3 million copies of the book currently in print.

Lycos, Inc. operates search and technology web sites that foster online communities, including the new Lycos Cinema community, bringing people together one flick at a time. Other Lycos products and sites include,,,,, Lycos Mail, Webon, and The Lycos 50(TM). Lycos, Inc. ( is a wholly owned subsidiary of Daum Communications Corp., a leading Internet portal and e-commerce destination in Korea with a growing presence throughout the Asian markets. Lycos was acquired by Korean Daum Communications Corp. in October 2004 and has its U.S. headquarters in Waltham, Massachusetts. Daum Communications Corp. is traded on the KOSDAQ: 035720,

Alex Rodriguez and Madonna Surge in Searches on Lycos Network

Lycos 50

According to Lycos, the rumors of an affair between Alex Rodriguez and Madonna caused a huge surge in the number of searches for their names last week. Other searches that surged last week were searches for Grey’s Anatomy’s Katherine Heigl, Nicole Kidman, Jesse Jackson and the iPhone.

Lycos maintains The Lycos 50(TM), the 50 most popular Internet search results for the week, which is located at If you’re so inclined to make comments, you can comment on their blog located here at their Lycos50 blog or on their new Under the Red Carpet Blog.

Let’s take a look at the list for last week, the week ending July 12, 2008. This is the list of the biggest “movers and shakers” for the week, the searches that suddenly had a surge. This means that previously there weren’t that many searches but all of a sudden there was a huge number of searches for the phrase as compared to their normal number of searches.

  Biggest Movers and Shakers for Week Ending July 12, 2008:
      1.  Alexander Rodriquez     533%
      2.  Madonna                 515%
      3.  Lindsay Lohan           480%
      4.  Katherine Heigl         425%
      5.  Nicole Kidman           400%
      6.  The Bachelorette        365%
      7.  Jesse Jackson           333%
      8.  iPhone                  270%
      9.  Brett Farve             200%
      10. Miss U.S.A.             140%

According to Lycos, there was a big surge in the number of searches for Alex Rodriguez and Madonna because they both have been in the news lately. “Amid swirling rumors of an affair and the breakup of their respective marriages, baseball star Alex Rodriguez (533 percent) and Madonna (515 percent) surged to the top of this week’s Lycos 50 “Movers and Shakers” list. Rodriguez, whose wife Cynthia has filed for divorce, and Madonna have both denied the affair, claiming to know each other only through their mutual manager.”

The “Grey’s Anatomy” star, Katherine Heigl, gained 425 percent on the “Movers & Shakers” list after speculation that her character, Dr. Isabel “Izzy” Stevens, will be killed off the show. Lycos says that “Last month Heigl withdrew her name from consideration of the Emmys, claiming her role wasn’t worth the nomination, leading Entertainment Weekly to report that rumors are flying that the show’s creators are angry with the actress and thinking of killing off her character.”

Lycos went on to say that “New mom Nicole Kidman gained 400 percent following the July 7 birth of her baby daughter Sunday Rose Kidman in Nashville, Tenn. Kidman was surrounded by her country music superstar husband, Keith Urban, and several family members; the couple was married in June 2006.

There was also an increase in searches for Angelina Jolie. “Speaking of new babies, Angelina Jolie climbed to No. 5 on the Lycos 50 for the week following the birth of her twins over the weekend. Jolie, 33, and Brad Pitt, 44, are the proud parents of newborn twins — son Knox Leon and daughter Vivienne Marcheline — who were born on Saturday night at a maternity clinic in Nice, France.”

Lycos also publishes the top 10 search terms for the week, which has Paris Hilton, YouTube, and Clay Aiken at the top.

The Lycos 50(TM) Top 10 Search Terms for the Week Ending July 12, 2008:
1. Paris Hilton
3. Clay Aiken
4. Pamela Anderson
5. Angelina Jolie
6. Tim McGraw
7. Entwistle Verdict
8. Facebook
9. Madonna
10. George Carlin

We Searched for the iPhone 7 Million Times During April 2008

According to comScore, the company that measures searches on the web, we searched seven million times for the Apple iPhone during the month of April, 2008. They also are reporting that Google delivered a disproportionate number of iPhone-related clicks.

comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ:SCOR) has released a study on “iPhone”-related keyword search phrases . The data is based on information from their comScore Marketer service. The data shows that that 1.3 million people conducted 6.9 million searches for iPhone-related terms in April 2008.


Typically, we have searched on sorts of Apple iPhone-related topics, but the most common keyword search phrase is strictly the keyword “iPhone”. That one keyword generated almost 1.5 million searches. According to comScore, other keyword search phrases ranking high on the list were several keyword phrases related to the upcoming “next generation” iPhone, which includes “iPhone update” (151,000), “iPhone 2.0″ (75,000) and “iPhone 3G” (60,000).

What I find interesting is that the phrase “iPhone Speakers” is showing up as a top keyword search phrase.

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$psps_parameters .= “&psps_show_search=true”;
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$psps_url = “?psps_base_url=”.urlencode($psps_base_url);


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For those interested, here are the exact numbers that have been released:

  Top "iPhone"-Related Search Terms
  April 2008
  Total U.S. -- Home/Work/University Locations
  Source: comScore Marketer
  Search Term                 Searches (000)
  IPHONE                              1,488
  IPHONE UPDATE                         151
  IPHONE WEB APPS                       118
  IPHONE MMS                            101
  IPHONE 2.0                             75
  IPHONE 3G                              60
  IPHONE 2                               59
  IPHONE G3                              43
  IPHONES                                38
  IPHONE SPEAKERS                        35

Of the iPhone-related keyword search phrases that generated click-thrus, the vast majority (88.4 percent) occurred on Google, which is actually 33 percent higher than comScore expected given Google’s market share of total Internet search click-thrus. What’s interesting to note is that all other search engines actually generated a lower percentage of iPhone-related clicks than their respective market shares of total search clicks.

  Share of Search Clicks for "iPhone"-Related Search Terms
  April 2008
  Total U.S. -- Home/Work/University Locations
  Source: comScore Marketer
                          Percent of Search    Percent of Total
  Search Engine            Clicks for Term      Search Clicks        Index
  Google                               88.4%             66.5%         133
  Yahoo                                 7.2%             20.0%          36
  MSN-Windows Live                      2.7%              6.9%          39
  AOL                                   1.2%              3.8%          32                               0.6%              2.9%          19
  *Index = Percent of Search Clicks for Term/Percent of Total Search
   Clicks x 100; Index of 100 represents parity

comScore said today, “Not surprisingly, the top destination for iPhone-related searches was Apple Inc., which attracted 17.5 percent of all search click-thrus. Of those click-thrus to Apple Inc., 16.5 percent were the result of paid search and the remaining 83.5 percent were from organic search results. Google Sites, which host significant iPhone-related content on YouTube and Blogger sites, ranked second with 8.8 percent of iPhone-related click-thrus, nearly all of which came from organic search results. NetShelter Technology Media, which owns several Apple and iPhone-specific content sites, ranked third with 8.4 percent.”

ComScore went on to say that “among the top ten destinations, AT&T, Inc. — the lone cell phone carrier for iPhones in the U.S. — had the highest proportion of their search clicks coming from paid links (42.8 percent). Several of the top ten sites had no paid search strategy, but still managed to generate a substantial share of total clicks through organic results.”

  Paid vs. Organic Click-Thrus for "iPhone"-Related Search Destination
  April 2008
  Total U.S. -- Home/Work/University Locations
  Source: comScore Marketer
                         Percent of Total      Percent of Click-Thrus to
  Destination Property    iPhone-Related          Destination Property
                           Click-Thrus            Paid           Organic
  Total Clicks              8.77 MM             0.61 MM          8.16 MM
  Apple Inc.                  17.5%               16.5%            83.5%
  Google Sites                 8.8%                0.7%            99.3%
  NetShelter Technology
   Media                       8.4%                0.0%           100.0%
  AOL LLC                      6.5%                0.0%           100.0%
  Gawker Media                 5.1%                0.0%           100.0%
  CNET Networks                3.7%                0.0%           100.0%
  AT&T, Inc.                   3.3%               42.8%            57.2%
  International Data Group     3.1%                0.0%           100.0%
  Yahoo! Sites                 2.7%                1.3%            98.7%
  ILOUNGE.COM                  1.8%                0.0%           100.0% Reveals Top Search Phrases for 2007

ask-logo.jpg has revealed it’s Real Deal list of the top keyword search phrases for 2007. They said that it has been a MySpace year, and are revealing other interesting findings such as Barack Obama beating Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani, the Boston Red Sox took the playing field, and Hannah Montana took over the TV screen.

According to, “social media was on a lot of people’s minds, with MySpace garnering the #1 spot, but no other social networking services made the top 10. General information and entertainment searches dominated the list, with Dictionary in a solid #2 position.”

Well, let’s get on with the rankings…

ask2007-myspace.jpg's Top Real Deal Searches of 2007
  1.  MySpace                  6.  Cars
  2.  Dictionary               7.  Weather
  3.  Google                   8.  Games
  4.  Themes                   9.  Song Lyrics
  5.  Area Codes               10. Movies

I find it interesting that the dictionary and area codes over took cars and weather…I thought people really cared about the weather? But again, there weren’t as many hurricanes this past year as they originally predicted.

Presidential Hopefuls
If the presidential race relied solely on search, the Democrats would come out on top right now. “’s 2007 presidential candidate queries were tallied and Barack Obama took the #1 spot. Even if Obama had not been victorious, the Democrats would still win the day, with Hillary Clinton at #2. However, on the red side of the house, Republican candidate Fred Thompson (#3) carried a commanding lead over his opponents.”

ask2007-barack-obama.jpg's Top Presidential Candidate Searches of 2007
  1.  Barack Obama             6.  John McCain
  2.  Hillary Clinton          7.  Ron Paul
  3.  Fred Thompson            8.  Rudy Giuliani
  4.  John Edwards             9.  Mike Huckabee
  5.  Mitt Romney              10. Dennis Kucinich

Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox won the World Series and also won the top spot on’s list of this year’s most popular sports team searches. This year’s Super Bowl champions didn’t fair as well, with the Indianapolis Colts edged out of the top 10. Still, Indiana can take heart, knowing that their sports teams still make the grade. The South Bend, Indiana-based Notre Dame Fighting Irish not only snagged the #10 slot, but they have the distinction of being the only college team to make the list.

ask2007-boston-red-sox.jpg's Top Sports Team Searches of 2007
  1.  Boston Red Sox           6.  New York Yankees
  2.  Dallas Cowboys           7.  Green Bay Packers
  3.  New England Patriots     8.  Pittsburgh Steelers
  4.  Colorado Rockies         9.  Chicago Cubs
  5.  Chicago Bears            10. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Maybe it has to do with my Dallas Cowboys doing so well this year, or maybe it was because of the Cowboys’ Organization failing to purchase a great domain name ( In any case, the Dallas Cowboys couldn’t beat out the Boston Red Sox when it came to search this year.


Hannah Montana Rules TV
Hannah Montana, touring the country this year with her father (a guy who we don’t like here in Texas because of past things he’s done in Dallas), has a hit Disney Channel series…which has “also landed her the top spot in’s list of 2007′s most popular television shows, securing her title as the reigning “Queen of Tween.” Cartoon programming held its own this year, with “Family Guy” securing the #2 slot and “SpongeBob SquarePants” nabbing #3. In addition, proving first-run isn’t everything, “Gilmore Girls” (#7) and “Charmed” (#9), both currently in syndication, outranked ABC primetime darling “Grey’s Anatomy” (#10).”'s Top Television Show Searches of 2007
  1.  Hannah Montana           6.  Big Brother
  2.  Family Guy               7.  Gilmore Girls
  3.  SpongeBob SquarePants    8.  South Park
  4.  WWE                      9.  Charmed
  5.  American Idol            10. Grey's Anatomy

I personally didn’t know that SpongeBob was so popular, but again, he’s on all the time and just narrowly beat out WWE and American Idol. Wow, it’s been another banner year for search.

Lycos 50 for Week Ending July 14, 2007 – Al Qaeda and Emma Watson Are Tops


Lycos, a leading internet community destination for entertainment content (formerly known as the Lycos search engine), is reporting their “Lycos 50″ for the week ending July 14, 2007.

According to Lycos, the search activity for Al Qaeda jumped 700 percent in the past week, perhaps due to the USA’s Chertoff announcing publicly that Al Qaeda is more active than before and now apparently is “re-grouping” (whatever that means).

Lycos is also reporting that Emma Watson (part of the Harry Potter phenom) is more popular with internet users then Pamela Anderson and Lindsay Lohan (actually I’m not surprised about that).

Among the top gainers for the last week were Al Gore, Rihanna, Victoria Beckham (a former Spice Girl who just came to the United States with her husband and who has a new reality TV show). A “gainer” simply means that no one really searched for that keyword phrase before and now, all of a sudden, people are searching for the phrase. This typically happens with “instant celebrities” and other events that are “suddenly” in the news.

OK, since I know you’re interested in these top gainers for the week, here’s the official “Biggest Movers and Shakers” according to Lycos for the week ending July 14, 2007:

Biggest Movers and Shakers
for Week Ending July 14, 2007:

1. Al Qaeda           700 %
2. Al Gore            300 %
3. Rihanna            234 %
4. Hairspray          233 %
5. Emma Watson        217 %
6. Victoria Beckham   144 %
7. Jessica Biel       138 %
8. Weddings           117 %
9. Harry Potter        95 %
10. Bratz              67 %

It’s interesting to note that Hairspray is on the list, as there’s a new movie out, and that’s most likely why it’s on the list–apparently it looks like it’s going to be a hit.

Weddings are making the list this past week especially because so many people are…well…having a wedding or attending one?

Lycos reports that Emma Watson has achieved her highest rank ever on the Lycos 50, and cracked the top 10 this past week. She generated more online interest than Pamela Anderson (who was number 14), Jessica Simpson (who was number 26 on the list), and Hillary Duff (number 24 on the list). Even though Lindsay Lohan (18th on the list) just was released from rehab, no one apparently cares about her–Emma Watson is 171 percent more popular than Lindsay Lohan this week. [Read more...]