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Helen Popkin
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msnbc.com
updated 7/7/2010 6:13:26 PM ET 2010-07-07T22:13:26

The new millennium can't be easy for a retro search butler attempting to regain relevance in a Google world.

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Repeatedly reimagining itself since its 1996 launch, Ask Jeeves broke out the big guns on Wednesday in a no-holds-barred bid to grab the Internet's attention: Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga.

Invoking the two most algorithm-charged names in known cyberspace, Ask Jeeves proclaimed Justin Bieber "King of the Internet." According to the question-and-answer website's press release, "The 16-year-old singer and musician has even taken over from Lady Gaga as the star of the worldwide Web."

Closer inspection of the Ask Jeeves methodology reveals that the cyber manservant may be overstating its authority. Certainly, anecdotal evidence makes it seem more than obvious that the YouTube-born teen idol, unquashed by Bieber-blocking software, search engine syphilis and Web pranksters attempting to send him to North Korea, is preeminent.

But if you insist on empirical data, it's clear that the one thing that Ask Jeeves can confirm for sure is that Justin Bieber (aka  "The Bieber") beat out Lady Gaga as the most searched for person … in the U.K. … on Ask Jeeves.

According to the press release, Ask Jeeves receives "more UK searches for the teenage sensation and more questions being asked about (Bieber) than anyone else in the world."

In her official quote on the matter, Ask Jeeves spokesman Nadia Kelly said, "The Bieber is an online sensation so it's fitting he now rules the search engine world too."

Still, we can't know for sure if Bieber beat out Lady Gaga until Lycos and Alta Vista chime in.

Follow Helen A. S. Popkin on Twitteror join her on Facebook. What are you, chicken?

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