PR Newswire: news distribution, targeting and monitoring
Dec 21 2011

NEW YORK, Dec. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Experian® Hitwise®, a part of Experian Marketing Services, has analyzed the top 1,000 search terms for 2011[1], and Facebook was the top-searched term overall in the US. This is the third year that the social networking Website has been the top search term overall, accounting for 3.10 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 4.42 percent of searches overall, a 24 percent increase from 2010.

Among the top 10 terms, "youtube" 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 "" moved up one spot in 2011 to be among the top five search terms. Analysis of the search terms revealed that social networking–related terms dominated the results, accounting for 4.18 percent of the top 50 searches. This is an increase of 12 percent compared with 2010.

When combined, common search terms for Facebook — e.g., facebook and — accounted for 3.48 percent of all searches in the United States among the top 50 terms, which represents a 33 percent increase compared with 2010. YouTube terms accounted for 1.36 percent, representing a 21 percent increase compared with 2010. Google terms (including YouTube) accounted for 1.59 percent — an increase of 27 percent compared with 2010. Yahoo terms accounted for 0.59 percent — an increase of 15 percent compared with 2010.

Top 10 most-searched terms





facebook login



facebook login










Source: Experian Hitwise

New terms that entered the top 50 search terms for 2011 included addicting games,, cnn, chase online, face, facebook sign up, hotmail, lowes, pandora, twitter and you.

"Navigational searches dominated the top search results as users typed in terms versus typing in the URL in the browser bar," said Simon Bradstock, general manager of Experian Hitwise. "Hitwise saw 11 percent growth of single-word searches in 2011 as terms like 'face' and 'you' made the top 50 searches. Marketers need to be particularly brand-savvy when managing their search optimization campaigns because of this behavior, which is a result of predictive search functionality across major search engines. Other top 2011 searches reflect ongoing fascination with celebrities online, and many of the top fast-moving searches centered on natural disasters or notable personalities passing away."

Top-visited Websites in 2011
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 — a 15 percent increase from 2010. ranked second, with 7.70 percent of visits — a 7 percent increase — followed by YouTube (3.17 percent), Yahoo! Mail (2.95 percent) and Yahoo! (2.47 percent).

The combination of Google properties accounted for 11.98 percent of all U.S. visits — a 22 percent increase compared with 2010. Facebook properties accounted for 8.93 percent, and Yahoo! properties accounted for 6.81 percent. The top 10 Websites accounted for 32 percent of all U.S. visits between January and November 2011, which was flat compared with 2010.

Top 10 most-visited Websites



Note: Data is based on U.S. visits for January to November 2010 and 2011

Source: Experian Hitwise

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.

Top public figure searches — Justin Bieber was the 92nd most popular overall search term in the United States in 2011:

  1. Justin Bieber (92)
  2. Casey Anthony (178)
  3. Kim Kardashian (193)
  4. Nicki Minaj (210)
  5. Selena Gomez (244)
  6. Charlie Sheen (292)


Top personalities — the top five searches from within the Personalities category (sites focused on celebrities and stars):

  1. Kim Kardashian
  2. Glenn Beck
  3. Rush Limbaugh
  4. Robert Pattinson
  5. Khloe Kardashian


Fastest-moving movie titles — the top five searches from within the Movies category:

  1. Star Wars
  2. Transformers 3
  3. (Twilight) Breaking Dawn
  4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  5. Fast Five


Music —  the top five searched-for artists/bands:    

  1. Lady Gaga
  2. Justin Beiber
  3. Beyonce
  4. Taylor Swift
  5. Chris Brown


Branded destinations — the top five search terms:

  1. Disney World
  2. Disneyland
  3. Great Wolf Lodge
  4. Walt Disney World
  5. Universal Studios Orlando


Top TV show searches — the top five from the Television category:

  1. American Idol
  2. Young and the Restless
  3. Dora the Explorer
  4. Dancing with the Stars
  5. Days of our Lives


  • Television — The top generic search term was "hulu" within the Television category.
  • Sports — The top searched-for athletes were Tiger Woods, Danica Patrick and Brett Favre. The top searched for sports team was the Dallas Cowboys.
  • News and Media — The top-searched person among News and Media sites was Casey Anthony, followed by Charlie Sheen and Kim Kardashian in 2011.


If you are interested in more top 2011 data visits and fastest-moving searches, visit:

About Experian Hitwise
Experian Hitwise helps digital marketers to reach, acquire and retain profitable customer segments by providing daily, online consumer behavior, search marketing and competitive insights. Our clients rely on Hitwise solutions to improve the effectiveness of search, display, affiliate, email and social marketing campaigns.

With the world's largest sample of internet users combined with unique offline lifestyle and life stage information our expert analysts, help companies build and optimize their online marketing campaigns for improved multichannel success.  Experian Hitwise has more than 1,500 clients across industry sectors, including retail, travel, financial services, advertising, media, technology and pharmaceuticals.

Experian Hitwise (FTS:EXPN),, operates in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada and Brazil. More information about Experian Hitwise is available at For up-to-date analysis of online trends, please visit the Hitwise Research Blog at and the Hitwise Data Center at

About Experian Marketing Services
Experian Marketing Services delivers best-in-breed data, analytics and platforms into multiple regions around the globe. It is focused on helping marketers more effectively target and engage their best customers through email, digital advertising, customer data management, customer and competitive insight, data enrichment and list rental, modeling and analytics, and strategic consulting. Through these capabilities, Experian Marketing Services enables organizations to encourage brand advocacy, create measurable return on investment and significantly improve the lifetime value of their customers.

About Experian
Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients in more than 80 countries. The company helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2011 was $4.2 billion. Experian employs approximately 15,000 people in 41 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and Sao Paulo, Brazil. For more information, visit

Experian and the Experian marks used herein are service marks or registered trademarks of Experian Information Solutions, Inc. Other product and company names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

[1]Data is based on the top 500 unfiltered U.S. search terms and U.S. market share of visits for January to November 2011. The data does not include mobile searches or traffic.

Matt Tatham
Experian Public Relations
1 212 380 2939

SOURCE Experian



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