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UK searches for news on Michael Jackson soared in the run-up to the conclusion of the star's high profile trial on Monday. For the week ending 11 June, online searches relating to Michael Jackson reached their highest point since the trial began in February. More than one in 9,000 searches were for the term ‘michael jackson’, a 29 per cent increase on the term’s previous peak in March, according to net measurement firm Hitwise. Searches for the second most popular Jackson-related term, ‘michael jackson trial’, doubled between 4 June to 11 June.

Most of the top downstream destinations for searches on ‘michael jackson ’ were news sites. Google News soaked up more than 10 per cent of this downstream traffic, with CNN, NBC, Reuters, BBC News and ABC News also featured in the top 10 downstream sites. Both Reuters and the Washington Post targeted Google AdWords advertising at searches for the term ‘michael jackson’, Hitwise reports.

Traffic to both the official Michael Jackson websites (MichaelJackson.com and mjjsource.com) and Jackson fan sites also increased in the run up to the jury's verdict on Monday, clearing Jackson of child molestation charges and other alleged offences. Media interest in the Jackson trial was intense but seaches on Michael Jackson still ranked only 544th in UK searches, the BBC reports. Searches for the Make Poverty History campaign, Desperate Housewives and Celebrity Love Island all ranked higher. eBay was the most popular seach term. ®

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