Facebook: most-searched term of 2011

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Facebook tops the 2011 charts

An Experian Hitwise chart has found that Facebook was the top search term of 2011. The social network has also been named the most visited site of the year.

Facebook has managed to hold onto its title as the most searched term for the third year running. The keyword had a 3.1 per cent share in all searches made throughout the year. Two other Facebook terms - Facebook login and Facebook.com - also appeared within the top five, resulting in the social network dominating the 2011 chart.

Simon Bradstock, general manager at Experian Hitwise, said: "Navigational searches dominated the top search results as users typed in terms versus typing in the URL in the browser bar." The inclusion of such terms as Facebook.com within the 2011 top search chart emphasises that people prefer to use Google search when gaining access to a site.

Mr Bradstock went on to say: "Hitwise saw 11 per cent growth of single-word searches in 2011 as terms like 'face' and 'you' made the top 50 searches." The increase in single word terms suggests that users are also relying on Google's predictive search functions when searching for a website.

Search engines versus browser bars

Not only does the Experian Hitwise chart show that Facebook is the most searched for term of 2011, it also highlights the nature in which users access a site. The preference for search engines over browser bars, even for sites constantly used, indicates that people still rely on Google to provide them with correct results.

Daniel Nolan, managing director at theEword, said: "This 2011 chart highlights the importance of search engine optimisation. As people are more likely to use Google search than a browser bar when accessing a website, it is imperative that the site appears high in the search engine results pages."