Facebook was the top searched term in the U.S. for the third year running with a 3.1 percent share of all searches, according to Experian Hitwise. Two other variations of the term, Facebook login and Facebook.com, also made the top five. YouTube and Craigslist rounded out the top five, while ailing MySpace fell off the top ten list completely.
In a written statement, Experian Hitwise GM Simon Bradstock explained the trends they saw this year and how marketers can benefit from this data:
“Navigational searches dominated the top search results as users typed in terms versus typing in the URL in the browser bar. Hitwise saw 11 percent growth of single-word searches in 2011 as terms like ‘face’ and ‘you’ made the top 50 searches. Marketers need to be particularly brand-savvy when managing their search optimization campaigns because of this behavior, which is a result of predictive search functionality across major search engines. Other top 2011 searches reflect ongoing fascination with celebrities online, and many of the top fast-moving searches centered on natural disasters or notable personalities passing away.”
Facebook was also the most visited site by U.S. users this year, accounting for 10.29 percent of all site visits between January and November 2011. Google.com gained 7 percent increase in share, staying in the second spot at 7.7 percent of all site visits. If you combine all Google properties, though, they account for 11.98 percent of U.S. site visits. YouTube itself was the third most visited site, at 3.17 percent.
The fastest-moving search terms of the year reflect current events, with Hurricane Irene, bin Laden wives, Osama bin Laden dead, Les Paul, Nick Ashford dies, and Sheen Sumped all making that list.
Two Kardashians, Kim and Khloe, made the Most Searched Personalities list:
- Kim Kardashian
- Glenn Beck
- Rush Limbaugh
- Robert Pattinson
- Khloe Kardashian
Other topics covered by Experian Hitwise included Fastest-Moving Movie Titles, Most Searched Artists/Bands, Most Searched Branded Destinations, and Top TV Show Searches. You can see their complete lists in the Hitwise press center.