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Is There a Link Between Facebook and Google’s Homepage in Firefox?


By Nikola Krajacic, December 30, 2011

Experian Hitwise, a part of the Experian Marketing Services analyzed the top 1,000 search keywords for 2011 and published the results. The research says that the term “Facebook” was the most searched term in 2011, however, it was the most searched term in 2010 as well. Hold that thought.

Several weeks ago, Mozilla and Google renewed their contract by which Google stays the default search engine and default homepage in Mozilla’s Firefox web browser. Is there a link between these two announcements?

Why Do People Search For “Facebook”?

According to Experian Hitwise research, in 2010 “Facebook” and “Facebook login” were at the top of most-searched terms in the US. In 2011, “Facebook” remained at the top, while “Facebook login” switched places with “Youtube”.

If you analyze the list further, you’ll notice that “facebook.com” and “www.facebook.com” are also among the Top 10 keywords people search for. But why? Because your grandma uses the computer and Google set itself as a homepage in her browser.

Give Me My Interwebs

According to research by Ken Burbary in March 2011, 25% of Facebook users are the ages of 35 to 64. Some of them are computer-literate, some of them are not. Like your mother or grandfather who just got her or his first computer, so thatthey could stay in touch with the family and yourself.

Unfortunately, they don’t know the difference between Firefox, Chrome, Opera or Internet Explorer. Can you expect them to know the difference between URL bar and the Google bar which comes up as a homepage? No, you cannot.

Facebook demographics (Image source: insidefacebook.com)

Iif you’ve set up your computer to an elderly person or to a child, they’ll try and manage the only way they know how. First step will be starting the browser, probably labeled “Internet” for their convenience. If Google.com is set as their homepage, they’ll search for “facebook” or even “www.facebook.com” and click Enter. Of course, the first result will be Facebook and, even though it’s the longer route, they’ve managed to reach their goal.

How Google Owns The Search

It’s obvious that Google gets a great amount of searches via its partnership with Mozilla. If you add Chrome to the equation it gets pretty clear how Google is dominant in the browser business, just as a search engine. Add the children and elderly users and there you have it – Facebook is the most searched thing in the last three years.

Recognize?

I wonder what would happen if every browser came with homepage set to blank and had only the URL bar. Facebook would still be the biggest social network today and Google would be the No. 1 search engine. But I’m not so sure that Facebook would be the most wanted keyword anymore. How about you, what do you think about Google’s homepage search in Firefox?


Author:

Nikola Krajacic


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