Out of the 1,000 top search terms throughout this past year, Facebook was #1 in the U.S. It is the third year running, and a 46% increase over 2010, coming in at 3.10% of all searches for 2011. If you include variations on the term facebook that occurred in the top 10, the percentage is 4.42, and is only a 24% increase over the 2010 results.
Youtube jumped from third to second between 2010 and 2011. Facebook login followed in third place. Fourth was craiglist, followed by facebook.com.
Clearly, social networking phrases were most dominant for 2011, as could be seen by their piece of the pie: 4.18 percent of the total 50 top search terms, a 12 percent increase over 2010.
The combined figures for terms related to facebook reached 3.48 percent of the top 50 terms in the U.S., accounting for an increase of 33 percent over that of 2010. Similarly grouped YouTube terms were attributed with 1.36 percent, a 21 percent improvement over the previous year’s results. When you throw in Google terms with YouTube you get 1.59 percent, and the hike is 27 percent over last year. Yahoo only took a small bite at 0.59 percent, 15 up from last year.
Interesting new terms to slide into the top 50 included many of the addictive online games, CNN, Amazon.com, Hotmail (everyone thought it had died, but it is back again), Lowes, Pandora, Twitter, Amazon.com, and Chase Online.
The most frightening aspect of figures, starting with 2011, is the effect of predictive search functionality, combined with the growing tendency to search for URL terms, rather than typing them in the address bar. For example, a user is typing “face” and the prediction shows facebook. The user can finish typing the term, can click on the term from the predictive dropdown list, or can click on the website from the search results that appear from the prediction, before choosing the predicted term. In many of these cases the results look like the user wanted to search only for “face”, rather than “facebook”. The problem arises when analyzing which search term to target a page for to compete for Search Engine Ranking.
Celebrities, famous people dying, and natural disasters ranked among the top terms people were fascinated with for 2011. As for the most visited sites of 2011, though, Facebook was king! This is the second consecutive year it has taken the title, accounting for 10.29 percent, up by 15 percent from last year. Google.com came in second place, with a 7 percent increase, accounting for 7.70 percent of sites visited. The next three were, as you guessed, YouTube, Yahoo!Mail, and Yahoo!, at 3.17, 2.95, and 2.47 percent, respectively.
Google’s formidable collection of properties took 11.98 percent, while Facebook’s measely properties, though paling compared to Google, took 8.93 percent of the visited sites. Yahoo! Properties, though more impressive than Facebook, manage to muster only 6.81 percent.
The results were not so surprising, but they definitely cemented Facebook’s title as leading the pack on the Net. It also may increase interest in Social Network Marketing, which certainly needs more attention to mature into a more stable marketing option.