Facebook’s Continued Growth, and Why it Matters for SEO

Experian Hitwise recently analyzed the top 1,000 search terms for 2011 and reported that “Facebook” was the top-searched term overall in the US. This isn’t much of a surprise, seeing as how this is the third year that the social networking website has been the top search term overall. This year it accounted for 3.1% of all searches, a 46% increase from last year.

Facebook’s continued growth is not really news, but this report does solidify our opinion that as more and more users come to associate Facebook (not just any social networking site, but specifically Facebook) with the web, it gives that organization more and more influence in terms of how people find and use information.

The social web is not just a fad, it’s a paradigm shift for web use. That’s why ArizonaSEO has a sister blog, PhoenixSMO, that reports and discusses recent social media news and information. For a complete picture of online marketing, we can no longer just rely on traditional SEO. More attention must be paid to Facebook as it continues to dominate the web. Below the cut is some more of the continued report from Hitwise:

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. Google.com 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.
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, osama bin laden dead, hurricane irene path and amber cole.

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