Search engines saw an explosion in the number of Britons searching for Council Tax last week after a documentary showed how thousands may be elligible for a rebate.

Martyn Lewis of appeared on TV to report how hundreds of users of his site's forum had claimed up to £1,000 because their homes were incorrectly banded.

That prompted an avalanche of search traffic form rate-payers Googling for more information, according to data from Hitwise.

"The share of searches for "council tax" were 40% higher than for "paris hilton", overtaking the celebrity for the first time in the past two years," said Hitwise's Heather Hopkins.

"The results ... offer an excellent case study of the power of cross-media promotion."

The share of searchers visiting the Valuation Office Agency rocketed by 30%, Hopkins said, giving it the dubious honour of being the third most popular government website.


Published 2 February, 2007 by Robert Andrews

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