Teen pop music idol Britney Spears finished the year number one on the list of most searched for people, places or things among users of the Lycos Web search engine.

The Lycos 50 is a hand-filtered list, so general terms like "car," "weather," "news," "MP3" and "sex" were disregarded when compiling the list, a spokesman for Lycos said.

"The Lycos 50 is about trends, not about general terms. Everybody knows "sex" is entered most in any search engine," said Renzo Moscou, spokesman for Lycos in the Netherlands.

The chart makers also add up all the queries that touch on one term. Misspellings and plurals are combined, so are variations on a theme. The Lycos 50 was compiled from lists of the most entered terms by users of the search site from 1st January up to 25 November.

Runners up on the annual chart are Japanese cartoon phenomenon Dragonball Z, which came in fourth last year, and Pokemon, first in 1999.

The highest newcomer is Napster, which finished eighth, and was playfully dubbed "rookie of the year" by Lycos.