I hate to start the year off in disagreement, but....
Catching up on the podcasts of Loaded I heard Natali del Conte making fun of the search terms used by Yahoo and defending those of Google. I hardly think you can judge all internet users by those who search for subjects in Yahoo/Google/any other search engine. What about people that learn about subjects from Wikipedia? or news sources? Let's not forget that some people can actually enter the URL they want-or already have it marked as a favorite.
Search listings show us the habits of people who don't know how to do these things.
By the way, I doubt that all the Yahoo searchers wanted photos of Britney-or that all the Google searchers wanted serious policy analysis regarding Palin. Most of the celebrity news/reality show culture seems based on laughing at people's misfortune.
See her take on 2008 search for yourself: