Hitwise: MySpace Overtakes eBay As Most Searched Term
"MySpace related search terms accounted for half of the top 10 search terms to all sites in 2006," said Bill Tancer, general manager of global research at Hitwise. The top 10 searched terms--led by "MySpace"--also included "MySpace.com," "www.MySpace.com," "My Space," and "MySpace layouts."
MySpace's spot at the top of the most-searched list bodes well for the brand, Tancer said. "Search term data is the closest proxy for what is on the minds of Internet users, and is a great measure of brand equity," he explained. "MySpace saw tremendous growth in traffic in 2006, which is a reflection of the increased brand equity for MySpace."
In addition, MySpace now accounts for a full third of all U.S. social networkers, according to comScore Media Metrix. And while the property's potential worth is subject to debate, RBC Capital analyst Jordan Rohan caused a stir last September by predicting that MySpace would be worth $15 billion in three years--not a bad mark, considering that it has risen from the $580 million News Corp. paid for the site in 2005.
Other 2006 search query leaders included "eBay," which came in third, "Yahoo" in fourth, "MapQuest" following in fifth, and the only general term, "lyrics," in 10th place.
Conspicuously absent from the pack was Google--or any derivation of the brand and its many Web products. Missing the top 10 entirely, the uber-search brand is the 17th-most-searched term in 2006, according to Hitwise.
For the four weeks ending Jan. 20, 2007, Google came in 14th--still better than years prior. During the same period last year, no mention of Google Earth comes in at 36, followed by Google at 45. And during the same period in 2005, Google ranked 75.
MySpace actually unseated eBay, which led all search terms for the same four-week period in 2005 and 2006. Also of note, Wal-Mart was nowhere to be found during the same period this year--it ranked ninth last year at this time, and fifth during the same period in January 2005.
Of special note, Michael Jordan--a well-retired sports icon who made few public appearances last year--managed to secure the no. 1 slot in the sports category. Jordan was closely followed by equine tragedy Barbaro, and female Nascar sensation Danica Patrick.
In the entertainment/movie category, "Imdb," "Netflix," and "movies" led the pack. In the area of sports, the top three included "ESPN," "Nascar," and "ESPN.com." For all television-related searches, "weather," "ESPN," and Weather.com" led. Meanwhile, top television show search terms included "American Idol," "Deal or No Deal," and "Days of Our Lives."
"Hotels.com" led all travel site-related searches, trailed by "hotels," and "Holiday Inn," while top travel search terms included "Las Vegas," "Six Flags," and "Walt Disney World." Top lifestyle/fashion terms included "Old Navy," Hollister," and "Victoria's Secret."
The search terms reported by Hitwise represent a non-aggregated look at the most popular U.S. queries that sent traffic to specific Web sites across all major search engines.