Nielsen//NetRatings reported that Web surfers often use search engines to navigate their way to common Web sites rather than typing the Web site’s URL directly into the address bar. Web users’ top search terms were popular, well-known Web site names, such as “ebay” and “google”. 43% of online searchers use the search box much like an address bar. Leading the top 10 most popular search terms for November was “ebay” with 13.9 mln requests, followed by “google” and “yahoo,” with 13.3 mln and 8.0 mln requests.
5 of the top 10 search terms were for sites with search engines themselves, supporting
the argument that Web visitors are not likely to be loyal to a single search engine. Other popular search terms were for retail and auction sites including eBay and Wal-Mart, as well as sites that offer a service, such as Mapquest and pogo.com. What all ten search terms had in common was that they were the names of popular Web sites rather than topics. The first topical search term, “weather,” ranked #23.