As far as I can tell, Facebook is the most searched for term on the web.
Several weeks ago over dinner, my friend Peter and I were discussing the growth of Twitter and Facebook. One point we kept returning to was how Facebook’s dominance is largely uncontested among social networks.
Twitter gets incredible media attention (resulting in the two companies often being compared), but these are not rivals, Facebook is in another league entirely. In fact, the following experiment has convinced me that if I had the capacity, I should be buying FB secondary shares.
Peter and I ran several experiments using Google Insights, an amazing but relatively little-known tool reporting the total numbers for google search queries for a keyword over time.
(note: the original embeds are no longer available)
Here is the 2009 chart comparing search queries for: Facebook, Twitter and the Bible.
What’s interesting to note here is that a) the volume of queries for Facebook crushes those for Twitter and b) Facebook’s trajectory continues unabated up and to the right.
Although Peter and I had expected Facebook would be well above Twitter in query volume, we had not realized the order of magnitude.
We then ran more comparisons against other popular keywords:
- Michael Jordan
Amazingly none of these even comes close.
Now granted, a good many of these searches are for people searching for Facebook in order to login (many people search for Facebook rather than typing Facebook.com). However, even compared to other major web portals like ESPN, Facebook is on another level. And what really puts all this in perspective: Facebook is a company that has only existed for 5 years!
So despite all the detractors who question Facebook’s sustainability and business model (ability to monetize), all I can say is that I’m a believer.
–As a side note, it’s interesting to follow Twitter and Facebook conversations on Stocktwits using the private company ticker symbols proposed by Howard.