Actual Top 10 Search Terms of 2006

January 2nd, 2007
by Dustin Woodard

Each search engine has come out with their list of the top search terms for 2006, but they vary widely and were obviously heavily edited. The lists have faced scrutiny by various bloggers/publications (Here’s a good one from Search Engine Land). I poured through data from a reputable 3rd party source to come up my best estimate of the top 10 search terms for 2006,  based upon search volume for the various engines, weighted by share of search volume.

Before I get to the list, here are links to the official top 10 search term postings:

After pouring through data from Hitwise, here is the list I came up with for the Actual Top 10 Search Terms of 2006 (warning: they are not nearly as exciting as the false ones listed above):

Top 10 Search Terms of 2006:

  1. myspace
  2. ebay
  3. yahoo
  4. myspace.com
  5. mapquest
  6. hotmail
  7. my space
  8. yahoo.com
  9. google
  10. www.myspace.com

Overall, “google” would have ranked higher, but people on Google generally know they don’t need to search for “google”–however, never overestimate the intelligence of people: it is still a high volume search term on Google search.

I based my list on actual search volume for the year, weighted by each search engine’s share of total searches performed. Now you see why the engines aren’t too excited to share the real lists (they generally cross-promote their competitors).

Note: “porn,” “craigslist,” and “dictionary” were also close contenders.

Posted in Search | Comments (5)

5 Responses to “Actual Top 10 Search Terms of 2006”

  1. Jason R. Says:

    Great work Dustin. Very interesting. Hopefully next year they will provide unfiltered data as Danny S. suggests.

  2. SearchLvr Says:

    I love it. No wonder they don’t share the data! One of our most popular search terms is for another search engine… not very good PR, is it?????

  3. Patrick Says:

    Great research, Dustin. Wise counsel to “never overestimate the intelligence of people”. It never ceases to amaze me when I want to show somebody something on the Web and this happens:

    ME: “Hey, go check out Digg.com. I want to show you something cool.”
    USER: “How do you spell that?”
    ME: “D-I-G-G… dot com.”
    USER: “OK.” (goes to Google and searches for Digg.com)
    ME: “What are you doing?”
    USER: “I’m going to Digg.com.”
    ME: “Why don’t you just type Digg.com in the address bar?”
    USER: “You can do that?”

    Silly as it sounds, I am NOT making this up. It’s a wonder some people can use the Web at all. Sobering for those of us who try to create usable websites…

  4. Suresh Chowhan Says:

    realy good analysis. many posting on different websites tell the top search terms. but your this analysis is absolutely actual

  5. Yahoo Attempting to Keep Google and MSN Users Says:

    [...] Caught this today when performing a search for other engines while on Yahoo. First time I’ve seen an engine attempt to keep their users from jumping to another engine, which is very common practice as indicated by my Actual Top 10 Search Terms of 2006 post. [...]

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