Report: Navigational keywords dominate consumer searches

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Marketers creating search campaigns should keep in mind the popularity of navigational search and the power of Google's predictive text, said Matt Tatham, director of media relations at Experian Hitwise, which released its annual report analyzing the top search terms and websites.

“Navigational search is still incredibly popular,” Tatham said. “Don't just assume that people will…type in your URL. For whatever reason, maybe they don't want to enter as many characters, but consumers are putting brands they know into search windows to find their sites.”

Tatham said marketers should take note. “This is not something that brands should overlook when creating search campaigns. It is the first thing to think about,” he said.

Experian Hitwise also reported 11 percent growth for single-word searches in 2011. Terms such as “face” and “you” made the top 50 searches. “Marketers should be thinking about the predictive search functions in search engines,” said Tatham. “For example, a consumer looking for Best Buy might just search ‘best' before Google fills the rest in for them.”

Among the brands listed in the top search terms are Amazon.com, eBay, CNN, Chase, Lowes, Disney World and the Dallas Cowboys.

For the third year in a row, “facebook” was the most popular search term, the report said. Four variations of the term "facebook" such as “Facebook login” and “Facebook.com” were among the top 10 terms, accounting for 4.42% of searches overall this year.

Facebook was also the most visited website for the second year, accounting for 10.29% of all website visits in the U.S. between January and November 2011.

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