Just before I was about to do another version (#5 to be exact), Google decides to rejigger its Keyword Planner tool to literally turn our assumptions upside down on many estimates we made with the tool in the past.

Facebook Facelift

Over the years, I’ve found that “facebook” was the #1 search term (even though I realize it’s more of a navigational search phrase vs. an actual term people are using because they want to learn about the website).  It went from 1.68 billion in 2010 to 3.08 billion in 2012 and then slightly more at 3.76 billion in 2014.  Guess what it’s saying now?

facebook searches in 2016

3.76 billion down to 68 million?  There are so many zeros in the division of the two numbers that I can’t even tell you what percentage it is of the original estimates over the years.  The division of 3.76 billion by 68 million equals: .000000000265957.  I assume this is .0000000265957 of 1 % of the original estimates or close enough that you get the point.

In my study in 2014, “facebook login” was 124 million searches monthly, but with the suggestions, you can see it bloated up to 226 million today.  So, honestly, what is the issue?

There is more internationalization though, which I find a positive benefit to these changes.  The phrase “فيس بوك” is Arabic for “facebook.”   It’s great to know that there are more folks now – 68 million of them monthly who are searching for the social networking site.  However, did you notice that’s the exact number that is associated with the original term itself?  It’s because google now gives “estimates” to how many times “like phrases” generate.  We are now faced with the notion we will never know exactly how one phrase operates differently from another.  

No one’s googling?

Obviously, people are still using Google.com and all its permutations in droves.  In Comscore’s latest search engine share report, it identified that Google produced 10.8 billion searches a month.

In 2014, I showed that 923 million were googling “google” to first navigate to their website and then possibly search for another term.

However, today, the mother of all search engines is either acting more humble than it should be, but now finally proving people are NOT as dumb as their data indicated in 2014 and before:

google searches in 2016

No more porn?

While we don’t want to admit it, adult keywords are a significant part of the search inventory online.

Historically, for example, “porn” gathered 124,000,000 exact matching searches according to the top search engine’s PPC tool, but now it’s showing something considerably different.

porn searches in 2016

That’s quite a difference compared to just 2 years ago when I made the query on Keyword Planner.  It’s .6% of one percent of the original estimates.  I wonder if this is almost enough for a lawsuit.

Some of you might say, well, maybe you didn’t pay attention to your research at the time but you only have to look at the first term suggested by placing the root word here “porn” and find “free porn” generating today (2016 – July 29th to be exact) 55,600,000 monthly searches and if you look at my previous study’s numbers, there were 45,500,000 at the time in 2014.  So, I wasn’t busy playing Slither.io or dreaming of when they would release Pokemon Go.

So, stay tuned for an update on what terms truly are the most sought after. We plan on doing a full audit here to expose what the new numbers are.

Also, the main reason why we decided to at least share today’s thoughts is because we still see garbage on the internet by brands that have garnered significant attention like Business Insider.

Showing a client recently that we rank high for many search terms/phrases like:

what are the top things people search on the internet

we noticed we were #2 right behind BI’s post, which was honestly just a bunch of rhetoric and a number of phrases that are searched often.  They have not spent the hundreds of hours, like we have, to truly come up with what are the “top searches on the Internet.”  Nevertheless, they still remain on top because Google STILL gives brands more credit EVEN IF it’s LESS relevant or INcorrect.

A great example of the garbage that still garners high results is this post: http://bgr.com/2015/12/16/most-popular-google-searches-2015/

Click bait reigns!

(p.s. do note, I know Google’s still MUCH BETTER than the alternatives)

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