It was truly the year of the social network, as Facebook topped the list of most-searched terms on the Internet for the second year in a row, according to Experian Hitwise, a part of Experian Marketing Services.
The company, which analyzed the Top 1000 search terms for 2010, said the word "facebook" accounted for 2 percent of all searches. Four variations of the term "facebook" were among the Top 10 terms and accounted for 3.5 percent of searches overall. The term "facebook login" moved up from the ninth spot in 2009 to the second spot in 2010.
YouTube was the third most-searched term in 2010, followed by Craigslist, Myspace and facebook.com, according to the company's research. Analysis of the search terms revealed that social networking-related terms dominated the results, accounting for 4.2 percent of the Top 50 searches. When combined, common search terms such as facebook and facebook.com, for Facebook accounted for 3.5 percent of all searches in the U.S. among the Top 50 terms, which represents a 207 percent increase from 2009.
YouTube terms accounted for 1.1 percent, representing a 106 percent increase from 2009, according to the company's research. AOL search terms accounted for 0.3 percent of searches in 2010, but grew 22 percent from 2009.
Google terms accounted for 0.6 percent, and Craigslist terms accounted for 0.6 percent. The company found new terms that entered into the Top 50 search terms for 2010 included searches for Netflix, Verizon Wireless, ESPN, Chase, Pogo, Tagged, Wells Fargo, yellow pages, Poptropica, games and Hulu.
The Experian analysis showed Facebook was the top-visited Website for the first time and accounted for 8.9 percent of all U.S. visits between January and November 2010. Google.com ranked second with 7.19 percent of visits, followed by Yahoo Mail (3.52 percent), Yahoo (3.30 percent) and YouTube (2.65 percent).
The combination of Google properties accounted for 9.9 percent of all U.S. visits. Facebook properties accounted for 8.9 percent, and Yahoo properties accounted for 8.1 percent. The Top 10 Websites accounted for 33 percent of all U.S. visits between January and November 2010, an increase of 12 percent from 2009.
While searching for Facebook was among the most popular Web surfing activities, users of the social networking site were busy talking about Apple products. The company's iPad and iPhone 4 proved to be the fourth most popular meme on Facebook, accounting for more than 25 million posts in 2010. Lars Backstrom, the Facebook engineer who compiled the 2010 Memology report, noted that these two devices helped Apple move past Microsoft in market capitalization. The iPad was the only tech meme in Facebook's top 10 memes.
The fastest-growing trend was the use of HMU ("hit me up"), digital slang people use to ask their friends to hang out. While rare online in 2009, HMU emerged in 80,000 mentions per day on Facebook in the summer. iPads also materialized on Google's 2010 Zeitgeist at No. 2, behind Chatroulette, and ranked No. 6 on Twitter's top 10 Twitter trends for the year.