most popular seo searches

An updated version of the “Most Popular Searches” is here called: “Top Google Searches in 2012

For a number of years, a question we’ve been trying to answer is: “What are people searching for?”

  • Are they looking for happiness? World peace?  Love?

In order to fully address this question, we’ve been incredibly fortunate that tons of data is available now that can help us figure out “what are the citizens of this world looking for?” With the advent of a search engine which not only has become ubiquitous with the term “search” itself, but having the data readily available for us to analyze supports our abilities to address this inquiry. At the same time, for the ultimate answer to the question, we, of course, can’t generalize that the number of search queries people type into the various browsers throughout the world equates to what they are looking for necessarily. However, it does at least give us a better idea of their needs online and we can now get closer to the true answer “what do people want (online)?”

In order to truly answer this question as effectively as possible, we’ve examined a number of online resources and even filtered out a bit of the top keywords list manually. Below, you’ll find how we put this “most popular searches” list together. Nevertheless, we spent a bit of time researching, editing and gathering enough sources to properly build a decent list for your curiosity.  This is not version one. Very importantly, this list will also be edited and re-examined at later points. So, if you have any suggestions, edits or any other advice you would like to share in order to make this list more optimal, feel free to comment below.

  • Interestingly enough, surfers on the Internet don’t seem to be too excited about the exact phrase “world peace” garnering only an estimated 9900 global searches exactly, but “happiness” is a bit more popular at 135,000 searches/mo with just the term “peace” being even more popular at 201,000/mo and “love” dominating these three search keywords at 1,830,000 searches/mo.  It’s no wonder why dating sites are even more popular on the list, is it just me or it has become quite casual to use dating sites?

Let’s get to the “Most Popular Searches” list!
**The following numbers are “exact” global searches from google’s adwords keyword tool

Top 25 Phrases Searched Online

RankKeyword Term/PhraseSearches on per month (Est)
4facebook login151,000,000
9yahoo mail101,000,000
21google maps30,400,000
25youtube.com30,400,000 - Cheap domain name registration, renewal and transfers - Free SSL Certificates - Web Hosting
some thoughts before getting to the 26th through 50th most popular searches (on google & most like the Internet)

  • As you can see, users have become more “used to” searching for their most used websites instead of simply typing in the url.
  • Ironically, “Facebook” is being searched on Google the most.  These 2 sites are competing for internet users.  Fortunately for Google, Facebook’s internal search engine is not exactly the best.
  • adult websites occupy a bit of the top online real estate in terms of searches
  • [keyword] + login (or similar like “sign in”) are quite popular keyword searches with the biggest websites

adult searches

RankKeyword Term/PhraseSearches on per month
31google translate16,600,000
41msn hotmail13,600,000
50justin bieber9,140,000
  • “chatroulette” was the fastest rising search trend in this year’s Zeitgeist list
  • in addition to the top used websites & adult websites dominating searches, weather, games & popular brand names also are looked for quite a bit online
  • while we attempted to pull out the “trendy” entertainers from the “most popular searches” list here, we did want to show that top 50 real estate in this list will possibly belong to whomever is “hip” in the music or entertainment world; teen stars can definitely create a lot of hype – especially on the Internet & on phone devices like the iPhone

google zeitgeist chat roulette searches

RankKeyword Term/PhraseSearches on per month
53bank of america7,480,000
58orkut login7,480,000
60pirate bay7,480,000
61youtube videos7,480,000
65lady gaga6,120,000
68plenty of fish6,120,000
70white pages6,120,000,120,000
75home depot5,000,000
  • riding the back of “love” being a somewhat high concern of internet users, dating website “plenty of fish” is a very popular search phrase despite the website’s very basic appearance
  • entertainment sites like friv, an online games portal also marked itself on the year’s zeitgeist list by Google along with mature audiences loving to find the “free tv” site
  • companies with large PPC budgets like expedia are also dominating the searches & in the minds of many
  • #69 runescape seems to dominate searches ahead of other online games (trailing are solitaire 1.2 mill, second life 823k, call of duty 673k, counter strike 550k, starcraft 368k, warcraft 301k, diablo 301k, wii fit 246k, age of empires 246k, guild wars 201k, just dance 110k, donkey kong 110k)

free online game searches

RankKeyword Term/PhraseSearches on per month
82youtube music5,000,000
84aol mail4,090,000
85aol mail4,090,000
87currency converter4,090,000
100adobe reader3,350,000
  • people are not only interested in the weather, but the “news” as well; even though it’s not abovesocializing or dating
  • professional networking has also remarkably held its ground.  LinkedIn is within the top 100 searches
  • major tv network abc tv beats out networks fox (1.5 mill searches), cbs (1.22 mill) and nbc (1 mill)

tv movies searches image


A number of years ago, we did a similar post on a blog we put to rest.  It broke out the types of websites that dominated the top searches by the Internet population.  The summary at that time was that about 50% of the searches were related to adult websites, many of the searches are about celebrities, big brand names and very popular websites.  Today, the types of searches are relatively similar.  However, at the time, the number of searches were not aggregated to figure out if truly the searches were really 50% of the searches out there specifically for adult type of keywords or just 50% of the list which could be very different numbers.  When scanning through the top 100 quickly, it appears it was NOT 50% of the Internet surfing mysteriously in the dark rooms of their homes for dirty material on their computers.  Rather, very dominant websites seem to occupy a majority of the searches, with sporadic adult keywords, entertainment & reference searches, and strong business brands.

popular website searches

The majority of the searches related to small business or many of the “useful” keyword phrases lie below the most popular 100 list here.  “Doctors” and “dentists” are estimated to be searched on 110,000 times each, but remember just the phrase without any other modifiers like the city name but not too specific like Drescher & Cohen DDS to for example.  When searching for “doctor” in general terms (the broad search measure), the number boosts up to 13.6 million globally which is MUCH larger than this specific search of simply “doctor.”  So, as we mention below, we’ll explore the “broad” search numbers in the future.  If you are interested in any of the data or any other keyword research conducted manually for you like the information provided above, please do not hesitate to contact us & we’ll provide very useful insight to what could help your business.

doctor dentist searches

Methodology:  A convenient list that’s produced by Wordtracker & used by other sites to publish lists like this “Free Top 500 Keywords” (which comes up first on a search for “top keywords” on Google) is produced by using data gathered by metacrawlers.  However, the statistics seem to be misleading.  As identified in many different surveys and official statistics, Google dominates the search engine arena in terms of how much is searched on their site.  If you take the list provided by Wordtracker, plug in the keywords into Google’s adwords keyword tool, you’ll notice the rankings are much different compared to what is searched on a monthly basis on google. Perhaps the reason why someone has NOT put together a list like this before is that there is a limit on what can be queried on google’s adwords keyword tool (100) and correlating all the lists out there and possibilities seemed to be too much work.  Nevertheless, we decided to do the work & provide the top 100 results from the 616 possibilities we collected from the following sources.

So, to start off, we used the Wordtracker keyword list to build the initial group of keyword phrases and terms (ignoring as many as we could of the “trendy” phrases that may disappear after their 15 minutes of fame is over).  Enhancing the list, we also:

  • added into it keyword phrases/terms suggested in the adwords keyword estimation tool that had a high volume of searches
  • took a look at the top global websites listed by Alexa (only the top 100 sites for today’s version of the “most popular searches” list) & added in websites that didn’t show up in the initial list minus the international versions of the top websites in the United States
  • mixed in keywords from a list on (that’s supposedly disappeared) which didn’t explain (at least from what we could see) how this person’s list was created, but many of the 500 top search keywords were popular phrases
  • grabbed the google zeitgeist top searches list just recently pulled together for the top keywords in 2010 & looked for terms not represented in the list thus far
  • crosschecked terms, trends and charts from a leading online competitive intelligence service provider Experian Hitwise
  • looked for other missing potential search keywords from aol’s hot searches,’s top searches (updated since the previous page is dead) page, the buzzlog by yahoo (now dead), bing’s top searches for 2010 and reviewed some thoughts by compete pulse (now out of business).

After collecting our final version of the possibilities for the “most popular search keywords,” we plugged each and every one of the 616 terms into google’s adwords keyword tool & found the estimated inventory available per month for each of these phrases.  We changed the default setting from “broad” to “exact” because we’re interested in the more likely number of searches that could realistically drive someone to click over to the sites that are in the first page of the SERP (search engine results page).

For a future version of the list provided today, we’ll take the gross number of searches per keyword term to compare that list with today’s list.  From our experience, the broad measure of keyword search inventory is a little exaggerated in how much is actually conducted on the Internet.  The “exact” measure is a bit more accurate and you can see the results correlate if you are tracking your results via google analytics.  However, with the future “broad” most popular searches list, we’ll compare how perhaps some terms may have more permutations being used in terms of how people search for the particular “end goal.”  For example, if you take the top 5 from today’s list and change the parameters to a broad search, the 5th ranked term here “yahoo” would actually bump up to the 3rd position because there are many more versions of searches with the term “yahoo” in it.  However, again, this list provided today is validating how many “exact” searches are done on each of these terms and phrases.

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And if you would like to either do deeper digging than we did, we’ve laid out the searches for you below so that you just have to click on these & they should give you the top SERPs for the following phrases that helped build the list we’ve provided to you today:

top searches | top searches today | google top searches | top web searches | top 100 keywords | top searched keywords | top keyword list | top google keywords | most popular searches | most popular google searches | most searched on google | keyword ranking | most searched

**Data provided by Google Adwords Keywords Tool. Search conducted on December 27, 2010. The subjective opinion of what is searched by users on the Internet are only those of the staff of Seattle Organic SEO and may not reflect the exact statistics truly available. The goal of this data is only to provide an estimate and idea of what sort of free marketing is available for professionals in this field. A disclaimer is available identifying your acceptance of responsibility when using this data for any purposes. The information provided is brought to you by Seattle Organic SEO, your Seattle SEO, Bellevue SEO, and Organic SEO Services provider.

From the Official Google Blog: What Small Businesses want from Google

(This is a continuation of a series of free local seo statistics by Seattle Organic SEO)

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