Nobody, as they say, ever went broke overestimating the intelligence of the American searcher.
Giving (perhaps frightening) insight into the way many people use search engines, Hitwise has tabulated its annual list of the most frequently used search terms. "Facebook" topped the list for the second year running, and "Facebook Login" moved up from No. 9 to No. 2. "Facebook.com" made it into the top 10 for the first time, ranking as the sixth-most-used search term, and at No. 9 is -- you guessed it -- "www.facebook.com."
So, we can conclude that four of the top 10 most-searched terms were actually the result of people attempting to log in to Facebook. indeed, the most obvious takeaway from this, in addition to the rampant popularity of Facebook, is that many people cannot discern the difference between typing in the address bar on their browsers and conducting a search.
And you had made fun of Google Instant when it sought to guide these lost souls and save them a few precious seconds.
All of this, of course, reminds one of one of the most unintentionally hilarious stories of 2010: ReadWriteWeb's "Facebook Wants To Be Your One True Login," which currently has 3,005 comments, many of which are irate (and let's be honest, nearly indecipherable) rants from people who apparently clicked through on a "Facebook login" query or the like and thought they were on the "new Facebook."
By now they all hopefully know that ReadWriteWeb is not another Facebook redesign.
"When combined, common search terms - e.g., facebook and facebook.com - for Facebook accounted for 3.48 percent of all searches in the US among the top 50 terms, which represents a 207 percent increase versus 2009," reports Hitwise.
Rounding out the list of most-searched-for terms were "youtube," "craigslist," "myspace" (which fell to five from No. 2 last year), "ebay," "yahoo," and "mapquest."
Not surprisingly, facebook.com was also the most-visited Web site, passing google.com (which people were using to get to Facebook).