Facebook tops Google searches for UK in 2013
- 17 December 2013
- From the section Technology
Google has revealed that Facebook topped its list of the most searched-for terms of 2013 in the UK.
The social networking site beat the search company's own YouTube video service to the top spot. Google itself made it in to third place.
Shopping sites proved popular with web users with eBay, Amazon and Argos all making an appearance in the top 10.
Aside from spending and sharing, news proved popular with BBC News and the Daily Mail featuring high on the list.
Google also examined what questions people typed in to its search engine and from this compiled a top "what is" list. Facebook topped this too with a substantial number of UK-based searchers wanting to know what the social networking site was.
The second question was more a more heartfelt, "What is love?"
Other popular "what is" topics included searches for cancer, energy and blood pressure. Perhaps reflecting economic news throughout the year "What is the minimum wage" and "What is Universal Jobmatch" made it in to the top 10 most-asked. Universal Jobmatch is a government-run jobs-listing site.
Explaining Facebook's position at the top of the most searched and "what is" lists, Chris Green - an analyst at the Davies Murphy Group consultancy - said: "Facebook has now firmly established itself as a hub on the internet, making it a destination for surfers to do multiple tasks such as communications, gaming, shopping, photo-sharing and information gathering.
"These are tasks that would have previously involved using a search engine to source multiple sites."
The "most searched-for" terms are based on the number of times the relevant words are typed into Google's search engine.
Mr Green added that Google's own appearance near the top of its list could be explained by the fact that Chrome and other internet browsers can be set to automatically use the search engine when a phrase - rather than a full web address - is typed into their top bars.
"Chrome makes no distinction between web addresses and words in its search box so people get lazy and just type in single words like Google rather than full web addresses," he said.
"But this registers as a search."
Man of Steel
Google also unveiled its "top trending" search terms for the UK in 2013. These are the entries that have seen the largest increase in traffic compared with 2012.
Many of the entries on the list reflected major news events of the past 12 months.
The death of the Fast and the Furious film star Paul Walker was at the top of the list.
Both Nelson Mandela and former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who died this year also feature in the top 10.
The birth of Prince George in July came in at number four on the UK list.
"Celebrities always get a lot of interest and the passing of well-known figures makes people want to learn more about them," said Google's Claudine Beaumont.
"Despite that, some of the more traditional aspects of British life, from the Grand National to the royal birth, have generated many Google searches and will be remembered as events that have characterised the year."
New product launches helped the iPhone 5S and Microsoft's Xbox One become the biggest tech trending search terms.
The worldwide "top trending" list saw Nelson Mandela in top spot, and also saw the Boston Marathon and North Korea in the top 10.
There was a battle of the superheroes in top 10 most searched-for movies. Man of Steel beat Iron Man 3 in to top place. A small triumph for Superman who had lost out at the box office to his metal-clad rival.
Oscar winners Django Unchained and Zero Dark Thirty also featured. Only one animated film made the list, Despicable Me 2, but it was one of three sequels that were searched for including The Hangover 3.