Experian Hitwise, which has analyzed the top 1,000 search terms for 2011, is reporting that Facebook was the top-searched term overall in the U.S. for the third year in a row. Facebook accounted for 3.1 percent of all searches, a 46 percent increase from 2010. Four variations of the term “facebook” were among the top 10 terms and accounted for 4.4 percent of searches overall, a 24 percent increase from 2010.
Searches for “youtube” actually moved up from the third spot in 2010 to the second spot in 2011. “Facebook login” was the third most-searched term in 2011, followed by “craigslist” and “facebook.com.” Facebook.com moved up one spot in 2011 to be among the top five search terms. When combined, common search terms for Facebook, such as facebook and facebook.com, accounted for 3.5 percent of all searches in the United States among the top 50 terms, up 33 percent compared with 2010.
For basis of comparison, Google’s 2011 Zeitgeist list of the fastest-growing search terms counted “Rebecca Black,” and “Google+” as the fastest growing search terms for the year. In fact, Google+ oddly didn’t even make it on Hitwise’s Top 10 list of search terms for 2011. Why? Hitwise’s list includes searches made on Bing, Yahoo and other search engines beside Google.
Hitwise also reported that Facebook was the top-visited Website for the second year and accounted for 10.29 percent of all U.S. visits between January and November 2011, which is a 15 percent increase from 2010. Google.com ranked second, with 7.7 percent of visits (up 7 percent increase) followed by YouTube ( up 3.2 percent), Yahoo Mail (up 3 percent) and Yahoo (up 2.5 percent).
The combination of Google properties accounted for 12 percent of all U.S. visits, which represents a 22 percent increase compared with 2010.
Social dominated searches this year, says Hitwise. The report shows that social networking–related terms topped results, accounting for 4.2 percent of the top 50 searches, an increase of 12 percent compared with 2010.
Google terms (including YouTube) accounted for 1.6 percent of searches, an increase of 27 percent compared with 2010. Yahoo terms accounted for 0.59 percent, an increase of 15 percent compared with 2010. New terms that entered the top 50 search terms for 2011 included addicting games, Amazon.com, CNN, Chase online, Face, Facebook sign up, Hotmail, Lowes, Pandora, Twitter and You.
The fastest-moving search terms based on absolute change in 2011 included hurricane irene, bin laden wives, osama bin laden dead, les paul, nick ashford dies, apophis asteroid, sheen dumped, hurricane irene path and amber cole.
Hitwise also broke down popular search terms by public figures and other categories. Here’s who took the top spot for a variety of subjects: Public Figures (Justin Bieber); Top personalities (Kim Kardashian); Fastest-moving movie titles (Star Wars); Music (Lady Gaga); Branded destinations (Disney World); Top TV show searches (American Idol); Television (hulu); Athletes (Tiger Woods, Danica Patrick and Brett Favre); Sports Team (Dallas Cowboys); and News and Media (Casey Anthony, followed by Charlie Sheen and Kim Kardashian).