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People Search For Facebook?

Posted by Andrew at 12:28 AM on April 3, 2012

Experian Hitwise LogoBusiness intelligence company Experian Hitwise recently released the top 10 searched for brands in the UK. Top of the pile came internet giants Facebook, YouTube and eBay with four British brands showing; catalogue store Argos, fashion shop Next, news and media organisation the BBC and tabloid newspaper the Daily Mail.

Here’s the full top 10.

  1. Facebook
  2. YouTube
  3. eBay
  4. Amazon
  5. Argos
  6. BBC
  7. Google
  8. Hotmail
  9. Daily Mail
  10. Next

According to Hitwise, around 2% of all searches in the UK were for “facebook”, and variants such as “facebook login” and “fb” made three of the top 10 searches overall.

While it’s not 100% clear from the press release how the data was gathered and what search engines were involved, the research suggests that lots of people use search engines in preference to the address bar, even when the web page is simply the brand plus .com or .co.uk. You can begin to see why there is so much money to be made from advertising in search: every time one of these people goes to a web site, they’re using Google, Bing or Yahoo to get there.

Frankly, the one that really amazes me is “google” at #7. People are using search to find a search engine? This doesn’t make sense and my only thought is that large numbers of people don’t know that it’s possible to reset their default search engine (or home page). Consequently, they’re using Bing to find Google instead of changing the settings in their web browser. Amazing. If anyone has any alternative thoughts, let me know in the comments.