Facebook Takes Top Spot in 2010 Mobile Search Term Rankings

The popularity of Facebook on mobile has been laid bare by a list of the UK’s Top 100 Mobile Search Terms of 2010 from Mobile Commerce, which provides optimised, monetised mobile search services.

‘Facebook’ is the most searched term from the 40m mobile searches Mobile Commerce deals with each month, a number that’s rising rapidly. Facebook also comes in fifth (www.facebook.com) and seventh (Facebook.com). Social network terms, in fact, take six of the top 10 places, along with email and search provider terms ‘Hotmail’ ‘Google’ and ‘Yahoo’, giving a clear indication of how the mobile internet in the UK is currently being used.

The full 10 mobile search terms list is:

  1. Facebook
  2. Google
  3. Bebo
  4. Youtube
  5. www.facebook.com
  6. Ebay
  7. Facebook.com
  8. Hotmail
  9. Yahoo
  10. Ebuddy

The top 10 is also a reflection of the makeup of the top 100, with a quarter of the top 100 results relating to social networking – including seven different variations of a Facebook search, and 21 made up of searches for variations of Google, Yahoo and email service providers.

Information services prove popular, with the likes of lottery, news, weather, train times and cinema listings searches counting for a fifth of the list, with lottery searches being especially prominent. ‘Lottery’ is the 12th most searched term in the top 100.

Dating and flirting also seems a popular pastime with mobile users, as related searches come up strongly – accounting for seven of the top 100. Dating website ‘Plenty of Fish’ is the 20th most searched term while ‘Flirtomatic’ comes in at number 15.

The most searched celebrity on mobile is ‘Justin Bieber’ – the 38th most searched term – with ‘Cheryl Cole’, ‘Lady Gaga’ ‘JLS and ‘Katie Price’ – at number 80 – the other well known names mobile users have been looking for.

Shopping and banking also feature, with ‘Ebay’ the 6th most searched term, along with ‘Argos’ and ‘Amazon’. The only two banks that make the list are ‘Halifax’ and ‘Barclays’, with the latter just making it in at number 96.

“Many analysts see mobile search as simply the same as PC, but with a smaller screen, but that’s just not the case,” says Mobile Commerce CEO, Steve Page. “Our detailed search analysis shows that users search differently on mobile, either using the search box as a shortcut to entering a URL, which is often fiddly on a mobile device, or for ‘I need/want it now’ searches, such as lottery results, train times or weather updates – the kind of things people want to know about when they’re on the move.

Page adds that analysing what people are searching is key to understanding both the need to optimise a website for mobile, and how to do this, and also when considering pay-per-click, especially given the huge growth mobile search is enjoying. “The 40 million searches Mobile Commerce deals with a month is threefold up on the year and this list of the top 100 terms shows exactly what it is those people are actually searching for,” says Page.

You can download a summary version of a Mobile Commerce Whitepaper on Mobile Search here.