Hitwise: 'Facebook' the year's top search term

Searches for the still-growing-fast social network dominated last year's leader, MySpace, for the first time, according to the traffic firm.

Mark Zuckerberg should be proud: The top search term of 2009, according to Experian Hitwise, was not "porn," "poker," or "Britney Spears." It was, for the first time, "Facebook."

In 2008, Facebook had been the tenth most searched term on the Web, according to the traffic company's annual survey of search queries.

The rest of the list for 2009 is also made up of "navigational" searches, which Hitwise reps say actually always dominate top search queries despite the common wisdom that top searches tend to be for online gambling or racy pictures. In spot No. 2 is last year's leader, "myspace," followed by "craigslist," "youtube," "yahoo mail," "google," "yahoo," "ebay," "facebook login," and "myspace.com." If you add up all four Facebook-related terms in Hitwise's top 300 search terms, they make up slightly over a percent of all searches on the Web. The #1 term alone accounts for 0.67 percent.

Meanwhile, searches for "porn" came in at No. 16. Britney, unfortunately, didn't crack Hitwise's top 300, but the most searched for celebrity was Michael Jackson at No. 95, and "Twilight" hottie Robert Pattinson came in at #221. (Hitwise representatives say that they are currently reevaluating the data to see if recently beleaguered golfer Tiger Woods has moved up in the rankings, too.)

Update at 2:10 p.m. PST: So where's "Twitter" on Hitwise's list? It's hanging in there at #56, the company says.

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.

 

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