In late 2010, we studied for the second time, the “Most Popular Keywords” searched on the Internet. We gathered from as many sources as we could to a base of phrases and added even more than we had from the original attempt at finding the top searches online.
We realized in the second attempt of the keywords study, that adult keywords were NOT the most sought after online. In the original study, we made the conclusion that “adult” or “sex” keywords were the most searched because the number of phrases in the top 100 that were related to those adult topics made up a majority of the phrases. It also made sense from a “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs” perspective. In the privacy of our homes, you might think most of physiological and safety needs are met. So, we migrate to the love and belonging part of the hierarchy & we might start typing in phrases like “porn” or “xxx” while surfing the Internet more easily.
However, there is another number to consider when evaluating what people are searching on the Internet and in that second attempt in 2010, we concluded the volume of each of the terms should be considered. This year as well, we are giving that much more weight. So, we’ll summarize below the top categories within the top 100. After having close to 18 months to think about the 3rd attempt at this study, we believe we’ve been able to create an even better list here for the Top Google Searches in 2012. Also, we’ll explain our methodology on how we drew up the list at the bottom, but for your immediate edification, here’s the list of the top 100 MOST searched phrases online:
- the volume significantly grew with many of the phrases; For example, our top phrase “facebook” almost doubled in volume from 1.68 billion a month exact searches a month to over 3 billion searches a month
- we had several new phrases that are newer ways of searching for the top topics like facebook. “fb” became a familiar way of searching for the top social media website and ranked #7 with approximately 185 million monthly searches for the easy acronym.
- and probably the most apparent change this year that we found to enter the list was the discovery of trending “new websites” that might become new social media powerhouses like Facebook did in 2010. In particular, our #21 ranked phrase “tuenti” is a new social media that’s come out of nowhere based on the European continent.
In the second quartile of the top searches online, we found the European continent starting to catch on fire in terms of building websites that are garnering many, many searches.
- #26 could almost be equated as France’s version of Craigslist along with #50 being Turkey’s top classifieds website
- gaming continues to grow in popularity not only in the U.S., but throughout the world. #36 is a big games website in Spain it appears along with #49 serving the Portuguese community which means not only Portugal, but also Brasil which is definitely becoming very active online.
- #41 is an interesting search showing us that the government even knows how to build an online presence or one that many people who are either going to school or taking care of kids who are.
The 3rd group of top 25 searched phrases had many of last year’s terms like the 1st quartile:
- “chatroulette” was not only a past trend, but continued to be a very high volume search
- “espn” dropped from the #38 search to #56 despite growing about 50% in search volume per month exhibiting a larger variety of phrases entering the top 100
- “netflix” more than doubled, but dropped a couple positions in terms of ranking
A few new additions:
- “milliyet” (a popular newspaper in Turkey)
- “meteo” searches are showing the Europeans are just as interested in the weather as most in the world
- “red tube” & “cam4″ – another adult property
Apple still is popular despite the lack of “iPhone” phrases in the top 100. You can see with the #85th phrase that people may be more interested in the company or their main website to find details about the iPhone or other products. #97 as well shows their iTunes app is still popular as well. The first instance of an “iPhone” phrase was just outside the top 100 at #103. “iPhone 5″ was searched 11,100,000 times a month which shows one small problem of our study or possibly the Google’s Keyword Tool. Since most of the numbers are all estimates, we wont’ be able to truly define the difference between the 21 phrases that are searched 11.1 million times a month.
Speaking of those phrases, the ones that weren’t listed here are:
- iphone 5
- porn hub
Top Search Types
We almost want to make the warning of “do not try this at home” since it’s consistently time consuming to put this study together. Fortunately, we’ve had experience already in carrying out the first and second attempts at this study. For this year, we took the previous results and added the following to the mix:
- Instead of just looking through all the sources for “top keywords”, we entered the phrase in the Google Keyword tool and manually filtered a list of the top 5 phrases that were similar to what we believe we were going to generate with this study. The top 5 phrases were:
- “top google searches” – the results were a mix of mainly google trends & zeitgeist along with summaries of 2011′s zeitgeist’s results
- “top searches” – more google sites were in the top 10 results, yahoo’s buzz index and relatively irrelevant results
- “most searched words” – again a mixture of the aforementioned
- “top keywords” – probably the most relevant list of sources for the study (possibly why we focused on this in version 2)
- “most popular keywords” – again more irrelevant results including a random list on a website that didn’t even identify how the list was pulled together
- We scoured all the listings in all the searches and decided to use our original list PLUS the following we felt were pertinent for the study:
- 500 phrases from Mike’s Marketing Tools – which had many of our past phrases & shows up in a lot of the SERPs above, but you could tell the list isn’t so perfect like the 1st two phrases both being the same: “keywords”
- Selected lists from Google’s 2011 Zeitgeist
- Phrases pulled from many of the lists in AOL’s Hot Searches
- Wordtracker’s Top Long Term Search Phrases
- All the main lists within Google Insights for Search
- The top 100 Global Brands
- The random list mentioned earlier (just in case)
- And Alexa’s Top 100 Websites
- And shoved the ten’s of thousands of phrases through Google Adword’s Keyword Tool with the settings changed to All Locations (defaults to the U.S.) and Include Adult Ideas to make sure it doesn’t filter out any results
- We deduped the results, sorted them and categorized the top 100
- We kept the raw data including the:
- 15,600+ results that had 100 or more searches per month
- 13,450+ results that had 1000 or more searches per month
- 7580+ results that had 12,100 or more searches per month
- 3170+ results that had 110,000 or more searches per month
- 850+ results that had 1 million or more searches per month
- and the 230+ results that had 5 million or more searches per month
- And we plan on potentially dissecting the data even more when we can find the time. We might even be able to place other topics and ideas that may continue to add to the list. Feel free to comment as well if you think there are other phrases you know of that should be in the list.