Yesterday, Experian Hitwise reported that the top 10 most-searched terms in 2010 were Facebook, Facebook login, YouTube, Craigslist, MySpace, Facebook.com, eBay, Yahoo, www.facebook.com, and Mapquest.
In the same announcement, Hitwise said that the top 10 most-visited websites in 2010 were: www.facebook.com, www.google.com, mail.yahoo.com, www.yahoo.com, www.youtube.com, www.msn.com, www.myspace.com, mail.live.com, search.yahoo.com, and www.bing.com.
So, it seems that a lot of people are using Google or Yahoo! to search for Facebook or YouTube. As Butch Cassidy once asked the Sundance Kid, "Who are those guys?"
Well, they obviously go to Google, Yahoo! Search, or Bing before heading to Facebook, YouTube, or MySpace. So, they combine search and social media as often as my mother combined bacon and eggs for breakfast, peanut butter and jelly for lunch, or meat and potatoes for dinner.
Yes, these search engine users find it easier to navigate to their favorite social media by typing a term into a search box rather than typing a URL -- even a term like "www.facebook.com." But the key is that they do both.
What does this mean to marketers?
It means the people in your search engine marketing group need to be connected at the hip to the people in your social media marketing team. Users are seamlessly moving between these two categories. And if you've looked at real-time search results in the past year, you've already seen live updates from people on popular sites like Twitter and FriendFeed, as well as headlines from news and blog posts published just seconds before.
I know, I know. This probably requires another reorg in the marketing department. But if Google is the natural starting point for people heading to Facebook, then you need to at least coordinate if not integrate these marketing activities.
For example, Hitwise reports that the top searched for athlete was Tiger Woods. And if you conduct a search for the term, tiger woods, you'll see news, blogs, videos, and images in the first page of results.
So, if your company is one of the Tiger Woods Official Sponsors -- like EA Sports, Gillette, Golf Digest, NetJets, Nike Golf, TAG Heuer, Tatweer: The Tigers Woods Dubai, TLC Laser Eye Centers, Upper Deck, and the PGA TOUR -- then where do relevant brand tie-ins begin and end?
So, yes, if you haven't had a reorg lately, the new year is a good time to make sure that the internal organizational structure of your marketing department is aligned with external marketing opportunities and threats you'll be dealing with in 2011.
Hey, don't blame me. I'm just analyzing the latest data from Hitwise, which provides insights on how 10 million US Internet users interact with more than 1 million websites, across 160+ industries.