In 2013, Americans were keenly interested in recently deceased celebrities. According to Google Zeitgeist, the most googled words in 2013 were:
1. Paul Walker
2. Boston Marathon Bombing
3. Nelson Mandela
4. Cory Monteith
5. iPhone 5s
6. Government Shutdown
7. James Gandolfini
8. Harlem Shake
9. Royal Baby
10. Adrian Peterson
Each year Experian Marketing Services analyzes the top 1,000 search terms. For the fourth time, Facebook was the most searched word in the United States in 2012 (accounting for 4.3 percent of all searches and a 33% increase from 2011). In fact, social media powerhouse Facebook takes 4 positions in the top ten list. Bill Tancer, general manager of global research for Experian Marketing Services explains: “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.” The top most searched words are:
4. Facebook login
In a separate comprehensive study of searched words in 2012, a U.S. SEO company found the following most googled words, very similar the aforementioned list: Facebook, YouTube, Hotmail, Google, Yahoo, Gmail, fb, Facebook Login, eBay, and Face. Clearly social media dominates the top ten. The next ten most googled words introduces a bit of diversity, adding email, video, shopping, and yes — the underbelly (no pun intended) of the internet — porn: yahoo mail, youtube, http://www.facebook.com, msn, twitter, amazon, orkut, youporn, xnxx, and porno.
Internet industry analysts are keeping an eye on Amazon (currently number 16 on the list of most Googled words) as it competes with Google for product searches that represent a significant portion of search engine queries. In September, the New York Times reported that increasingly consumers are turning to Amazon as a search engine to find and learn about products. In a followup article, Forbes specifically pointed to two compelling trends: 1. Product searches on Amazon have grown 73% in the last year, while product searches on Google have been relatively flat. 2. More than 30% of online users start their product searches on Amazon, while only 13% start their product searches using other dedicated search sites (like Google, Bing, and Yahoo).
According to Factoidz, the top five most Googled words in 2011 were: Facebook (over 25 billion searches), YouTube (over 6 billion searches), Yahoo (over 6 billion), Google (over 5 billion), and finally, so as not to disappoint the prurient segment of modern society, Sex (over 4 billion).
According to Experian, the most searched words in 2011 were: Facebook, youtube, Facebook login, craiglist, facebook.com, yahoo, ebay, http://www.facebook.com, mapquest, and yahoo.com.
What a difference a year makes — while internet users were obessessed with social networks in 2012 and 2011, way back in 2010, they were more concerned with the fundamental issues in life. In October of 2010, Oprah presented her list of the most Googled words. According to her staff, the top Googled words were: Money, Sex, Love, and Weight. Coincidentally, these seem to align with the subject matter for most of Oprah’s shows and, not surprisingly, the high ratings corresponding to those subjects — proving perhaps that internet search skills and not originality and creativity are the key ingredients to developing program content on television.
For further reading: What Are the Most Googled Words on Google by Rown Casey, Factoidz.com.
What’s the Most Googled Word? by Rachel Eichenbaum, SnapStream TV Search.com. www.google.com/trends/hottrends.