Facebook Still Top Search Term In 2012 As One-Word Searches Rise 16 Percent [Experian]


For the fourth straight year, “facebook” was the most common search term in the U.S. this year — part of an increase in navigational searching that saw one-word searches rise 16 percent in 2012.

That’s according to Experian Marketing Services, which announced its list of 2012′s top search terms today. The data covers search activity on more than 60 search engines and website visits between January and November of this year, but doesn’t include mobile searches or traffic.

Experian says “facebook” accounted for 4.13 percent of all searches, a 33 percent increase over 2011. Other Facebook-related searches in the top 10 this year were “facebook login” (fourth), “facebook.com” (fifth) and “www.facebook.com” (eighth). Combined, those four terms made up 5.62 percent of all U.S. searches, a 27 percent increase from 2011.

Overall, the top 10 terms in 2012 were almost exactly the same as a year ago, with only “amazon” replacing “yahoo.com” as the 10th-most common term.


One-Word Searches Up 16 Percent

Seven of this year’s top ten search terms are a single word, a trend that Experian’s Bill Tancer says gained momentum in 2012.

Navigational searches continue to dominate the top search results as users continue to visit their favorite sites via search engines instead of directly entering a web address into their browsers URL bar. Single-word searches grew 16 percent in 2012 as a result of continued reliance on search engine’s suggested results.

You have to wonder if that 16 percent figure would be higher if mobile search activity was included. In that environment, users probably don’t have the patience to type lengthy queries on their smaller keypads and touchscreens.

Most-Visited Websites In 2012

Following its spot as the top search term, Facebook was also the most-visited website in the U.S. for the third year in a row. The top ten was nearly unchanged from 2011, with the exception of eBay returning to the top ten for the first time since 2009. It replaced mail.live.com (AKA Hotmail/Outlook).


Related Topics: Channel: Social | Facebook | Features: General | Stats: Hitwise | Stats: Search Behavior | Top News


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • http://twitter.com/WeblinxLtd Weblinx Ltd

    Really Doesn’t Surprise me, however I personally think Facebook is going to be used much less in the next few years, with maybe Twitter coming out on top.

  • Andrea Ansley

    I think the next step to this analysis is determining how many of those one word searches are purely navigational. It would appear that one word queries like Facebook and Amazon will continue to grow in volume, whereas transactional and information queries will never compete in volume because the terms people use to search for information (not domains) will always vary.

  • http://www.ccmoore.com/ CC Moore

    I saw another post like this recently, it said Google was the number 1 searched term in Google, I can’t remember where I saw it now! Knowing me though i probably misread it anyway. Stuff like this really amazes me, you would imagine in 2012 that people would realise all you have to do is type “f” in your URL bar and you computer knows you want Facebook so does all the hard work for you!

  • http://twitter.com/SnohomishLiving Stacey Mayer

    Very interesting. Facebook is today’s hot gathering place, but I wonder what will gather everyone tomorrow.

  • treepodia

    People actually use bing, wow!

  • http://twitter.com/SerialEntrep StillBroke Jones

    Where is the full list including porn? or is this it?

  • http://twitter.com/SerialEntrep StillBroke Jones

    I have seen so many many people type “google” into google.. or their own domain names even.. I ask them to go to their website, they type “theircompanyname.com” or just “theircompanyname” into google.

  • http://twitter.com/SerialEntrep StillBroke Jones

    only media types, web designers, blacks and marketing people use twitter. twitter is the one that will fade away.

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