Google Hot Trends Reveals huge number of people search for domain names rather than typing them into the browswer address bar. Any list of popular keywords shows that yahoo.com, google.com and cnn.com are among the most searched phrases on the web on a daily basis – but Google Hot Trends refreshes on an hourly basis to show that the top 100 most frequently searched phrases at Google ALWAYS includes domain names on the list. On average that list of 100 top search terms at Google Hot Trends includes 5 or 6 domain names on the list, but on occasion it includes as many as twenty full url’s!
When the list of searches gets that long for domain names, it is usually because there are about a dozen or so variations on the theme when people don’t know proper spellings (or subdomains) of the URL – as in Del.icio.us. I discussed this phenomenon last week in a post about Navigational Search, but that post focused on people’s preference for search above the address bar.
Now comes news that FireFox 3 (Download Beta here) will include navigational search in the browswer address bar. Hmmm, why would people use the address bar to search? This could be an interesting move, since it may get people to do their searches from the address bar and stop them from going to Google to do those searches for navigational purposes. Why go to Google, then type a domain name, then click a search result, when you could just make it a single step right in the address bar? Confusing right? Watch this video for more on FireFox 3 and searching from the browser address bar- or as FireFox is calling it – the “Awesome Bar.”
Most of the address bar navigation stuff is within the first 30 seconds of that video, but there are other useful features such as Malware protections, bookmarking, tagging bookmarks and domain identity info right in that same address bar. Make it useful and maybe more people will use the address bar. But unless they heavily promote and advertise these features, my prediction is that people will STILL use the address bar very little.
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