Web users still struggling to find Facebook

Facebook tops, Myspace drops, and Justin Bieber bops: That’s what we learned from the most searched-for terms of 2011.

According to a new report from Experian Hitwise, a Web-traffic monitoring service, “Facebook” is the most searched-for term in United States for the third straight year. The word “facebook” and variations of it, accounted for 3 percent of all searches, up from roughly 2 percent in 2010.

The second most-searched term was “YouTube,” which moved up from third place in 2010. The third most searched term was “Facebook login,” and “Craigslist” was fourth.

“Facebook.com” rounded out the top five, which leads us to wonder why people don’t just type that into their browser.

The answer, of course, is that most people don’t know the difference between a Web browser and a search engine. Or it’s just faster to load the search-results page than type in a full Web address.

In 2011, Facebook.com was the top-visited website, accounting for 10.29 percent of traffic—a 15 percent increase since 2010. Google was the second most visited website with 7.70 percent of visits and YouTube—also owned by Google—ranked third. Google’s Gmail also joined the top 10.

Sad news, then for Myspace, the also-ran social network that Facebook has left in the dust. Its fortunes continued a downward dive as the former household name fell off the top 10 most-searched terms in 2011. Just last year, it ranked No. 5. It also disappeared from Hitwise’s top traffic list.

Myspace announced it will close its Japan office early next year, in its continued retrenchment towards becoming a social entertainment site.

Celebrities continued to show strength in searches. Tween scream machine Justin Bieber was was 92nd on Hitwise’s list of all search terms. Casey Anthony, the exonerated child-murder suspect, ranked 178th. Kim Kardashian was third at 193. Nicki Minaj, Selena Gomez, and Charlie Sheen rounded out the top celebrity names to make the list.

Jordan Valinsky

Jordan Valinsky

A former editorial operations specialist and staff writer for the Daily Dot, Jordan Valinsky is a tech reporter and web culture commentator. His work has been published by the Week, Digiday, CNNMoney, Popular Mechanics, Vice, Mic, and Betabeat.