Japan’s Top Search Keywords in 2010 By Yahoo! Japan

It is a year-end buzzword ranking season. Yahoo! Japan, Japan’s most popular search portal, though the backend search engine has been gradually switching to Google’s one (everyday more people report that their search results are the similar with the Google’s results), eventually gets the highest number of search volume in Japanese.
Yahoo! Japan just released the most searched keywords ranking both on PC and mobile during 2010 [J].

PC search

ranking keyword meaning 2009 2008
1 YouTube No.1 movie sharing site 1 1
2 Mixi No.3? social network
(PC No.1)
2 2
3 Google No.2 search 4 4
4 Amazon No.2 online mall 6 6
5 2 channel No.1 bulletin board 3 3
6 Rakuten No.1 online mall 5 5
7 Niconico Douga No.2 movie site 7 7
8 Twitter World and Japan’s No.1 Microblogging
9 Ameblo No.1 celebrities blog portal 14
10 Goo NTT’s portal 8 8

Some notable changes

Last year, most top ranked keywords kept the same positions from 2008. However, this time there are some interesting changes as you see above.
Google and Amazon, two world-class services were searched more, whilst the gigantic anonymous BBS 2-channel and the largest e-shopping mall Rakuten stepped down. Rakuten and Amazon Japan are direct competitors so, even Rakuten is leading the market, it may not be a good sign for them. (it is search “volume” so you may also tell that Rakuten became to be so common to make people less search though.)
Another big newcomer is Twitter, ranked at 8th from out of the ranking (top 100). Facebook jumped into the ranking, too (39th).
CyberAgent Ameblo, is also showing their traction. I can tell that their vacuuming all TV talents into their blog and microblog (Ameba Now) platforms goes successful.
Boosted web services:

  • Cookpad(recipe site) 14th(20th in 2009, 47th in 2008) (Asiajin)
  • Google Maps 22nd (42nd, not ranked)
  • Zozotown(apparel mall, recently allied with Yahoo! Japan) 24th (46th, -)
  • Ameba Pigu(CyberAgent’s avatar social) 30th(-) (Asiajin)
  • Ameba(CyberAgent’s head brand) 42th(-)
  • Gree(No.1 Social Network, 99% for mobile) 43rd(73rd, -)
  • Rakuten Travel 47(59th)
  • Navitime(cellphone navigation service) 68th(90th)
  • Pixiv(UGC drawing site) 40th(-) (Asiajin)
  • Gmail 56th(99th, -)
  • Mobage Town(No.2? Social Network, mobile only) 75th (94th, -)

Services Losing positions:

  • Zenryaku(mobile profile site) 48th (34th, -)
  • Wikipedia 52nd (26th, 19th)
  • Rakuten Market(full name of Rakuten’s shopping mall) 59th (37th)
  • Gurunabi(restaurant review site) 76th(53rd)
  • Hotpepper(restaurant coupon site by Recruit) 82nd(58th)
  • @Cosme(cosmetic products review site) 97th (87th)

“Free Game” went up from 69th to 46th, the word both Gree and Mobage Town used a lot to describe their service on TV CM. Both “Movie” and “Map” downed around 10, but “Weather Forecast” got 21 ranks up (see my article on Japanese weather services).

Mobile search

ranking keyword meaning 2009 2008
1 Mixi No.3? social network 1 1
2 Mobage Town No.2? social network 3 3
3 YouTube No.1 movie site 4 5
4 Gree No.1 social network 5
5 2 channel No.1 bulletin board 2 2
6 Google No.2 search 6 7
7 Rakuten No.1 online mall 7 9
8 Twitter World largest microblog
9 Amebro CyberAgent’s blog portal 8
10 Amazon No.2 online mall 9 8

2-channel lost its popularity on the mobile ranking, too. Twitter comes up also on mobile this year.

See Also:

The 2009’s ranking we covered


    1. Chatroulette was only known by few tech users, and really unpopular among Japanese. I guess the main reason is English. People do not want to make conversations in English. But also, talking is not a preferred communication for Japanese, as you see they banned cellphone on most of public transportations. There was a chatroulette clone for Japanese but it did not take off.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.