The Year’s Most Popular Websites and Searches

What's Hot


Shoppers Boycott Businesses Selling Trump-Branded ProductsBusiness

5 Reasons to Shop for a Home in DecemberFamily

Giving Thanks: Why Foreigners Find America AmazingAround The House

Why Washing Your Turkey Can Make You IllFamily

50 Best Gifts Under $25 for Everyone on Your ListFamily

Pay $2 and Get Unlimited Wendy’s Frosty Treats in 2017Family

What the Richest 1 Percent Earns in Every StateFamily

10 Ways to Retire Earlier Than Friends on the Same SalaryGrow

The 10 Best Ways to Blow Your MoneyCredit & Debt

7 Foods That Can Lengthen Your LifeFamily

The 50 Hottest Toys of the Past 50 YearsFamily

7 Government Freebies You Can Get TodayFamily

Can you guess which website was visited by more Americans than any other site this year? Or which website we'll favor next year? (Hint: They're the same site.)

Breaking news: Americans are obsessed with Facebook.

Researchers even have the data to prove it – plus some pop culture trivia and money-minded insight – gleaned from our Internet activity this year.

Looking back

For the second year in a row, Facebook was the most-visited website in the U.S this year. According to Hitwise, a division of the Experian credit bureau, visits to Facebook accounted for more than 10 percent of all the website visits we made. That’s up 15 percent from last year.

The word “facebook” was also the most-searched term. Hitwise has ranked it No. 1 for the past three years, but from 2010 to 2011, they saw a 46-percent increase.

What else did we obsess over this year?

The three most-searched…

  • Public figures: Justin Bieber, Casey Anthony, and Kim Kardashian
  • Personalities: Kim Kardashian, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh
  • Musicians: Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and Beyonce
  • Athletes: Tiger Woods, Danica Patrick, and Brett Favre
  • Movies: Star Wars, Transformers 3, and Breaking Dawn (from the Twilight series)
  • TV shows: American Idol, The Young and the Restless, and Dora the Explorer

Moving forward

Perhaps not surprisingly, social media dominates Hitwise’s list of Internet predictions for the new year – and may soon dominate our wallets…

  • Facebook will continue to dominate social media with over 50 percent market share of visits to all social networks.
  • Online video will continue to grow as a channel with YouTube leading the way for video consumption. At some point during 2012 online video will pass the 1 billion visits per month milestone.
  • Social media will have a greater impact on traffic to transactional websites than ever before. In 2012 between 50-60 percent of all traffic leaving social media websites will go to transactional websites up from 43 percent in 2010 and 49 per cent in 2011.

I find that last prediction fascinating. Transactional websites are ones where we make monetary transactions, like Amazon, eBay, and any other site that gives us reason to whip out our credit card. So Hitwise is saying that of all the links we click while on Facebook next year, at least half will be to sites that encourage us to spend money.

So before you sit down at the computer next time, consider leaving your wallet out of sight and reach. Oh, and don’t forget to visit our Facebook page.

Karla Bowsher runs our Deals page, writes “Today’s Deals” posts every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; and covers consumer and retail issues. If you have a comment, suggestion, or question, leave a comment or contact her at [email protected].

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: 10 Pantry Staples to Start Any Meal

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,867 more deals!