Top Google Searches Show We're Clueless About The Address Bar

GoogleFacebook Google has released its annual list of the most popular and fastest rising search terms used by Australians. While there's a predictable glut of Michael Jackson and Masterchef, the list also demonstrates that apparently many of us don't know how to type an address into a browser.

On the list of fastest-rising search terms, there's a few with a vaguely tech flavour (One HD,, Grooveshark and Facebook search all appear). But the list of the ten most popular outright search terms shows that many people apparently think that typing a search term into Google is the only way to access a site. Here it is:

  1. Facebook
  2. YouTube
  3. Hotmail
  4. eBay
  5. MySpace
  6. Google
  7. Yahoo
  8. Gmail
  9. Bebo
  10. Seek

In every single case, typing the relevant word and adding a .com will get you to the site, so it's not a case of the relevant address being hard to remember. Similar trends were evident last year, so it looks like we're not learning very quickly. The full Aussie results are at the link below.

The top Aussie searches of the year


    eh I do that, but because I am lazy. Typing youtube gets me to the search result and I can just click it to get there. But with things like Yahoo, I might do it because I want to get to yahoo mail, and if I type yahoo, then a link to yahoo mail shows up under the yahoo search result. Its faster than typing mostly.

      Yep, its definitely a laziness thing.

      To make it even simpler and quicker for myself I bookmark my most important sites in firefox and in the bookmark manager there is a keyword field. I have ig in it for iGoogle, so all i have to do to get to iGoogle is type ig in the address bar :)

        Meh, I have a hard time believing the laziness argument. If you're already in the address bar and you're typing ebay, you will spend less time keeping your hand on the keyboard and typing the extra four characters, instead of tabbing down to the search result with what could likely be more than four keypresses, or getting your hands off the keyboard and onto the mouse to click on the search result. I have to agree with Angus Kidman, people are just clueless.

      Heard of something called "Bookmark" ? CTRL+D ?

        ha. yes. But its just as quick to type "yahoo" and click the search result link as it is to open my bookmarks, navigate to the folder and click the link there.

      Type 'youtube' or 'facebook' etc into the address bar. Hold down CTRL and press enter. "www." and ".com" are automatically added either end of the word.

    Surely a decent percentage of these results come from people taking advantage of FireFox's address bar plugging into Google's "I'm Feeling Lucky" search.

    Eg. if you type "Facebook" into the address bar (and don't select any from your history that appear) then FireFox will give you first result from Google, which is - but I assume it's still recorded as a Google search.

      I do this almost exclusively. I assumed that feature was there for exactly this purpose.

    I also type sometimes when i am not sure what domain it is (like or or Google automatically checks so less confusion

    All of those are .com address... Seems noobs don't know about ctrl+enter... Typing in "youtube" in the address bar and then doing ctrl+enter will go to

    If you're using Firefox, set up search bar (to the right of the address bar) with google, youtube, wikipedia, ebay, dictionary, etc... and save yourself an extra step.

      Or take advantage of FireFox's keyword searches and only use the address bar? I use "g", "wiki", "yt" etc.

    Yeah it drives me nuts when I see people doing that. It's usually from firefox's homepage which has a big google box in the middle.

    After you visit a page once, all you'd have to do is type the first few letters and then enter cos it'd pull it up from your history... some people are so reluctant to learn new things it annoys the hell outta me

    Doesn't surprise me at all.. and I'm sure Google don't mind at all either!

    It's even faster if you're default search is Google's I'm Feeling Lucky. Then typing all of the above terms takes you straight to the page!

    I find #6 pretty hilarious. People are using google... to find google.

      I'm really hoping that is related to Brad's comment above with the Firefox address bar thing. Surely people wouldn't actually be typing the word 'google' into ANY Google branded search box.

    I watch people do this all the time and it makes me angry every time I see it. They don't understand though, no matter how many times I tell them to either just add the .com, hit control + enter or even just use the firefox awesomebar.

      Is that really worth getting angry about???

    Can't spell the site name, not using my computer so bookmarks are unreliable, cannot be bothered clinking on endless links to find what I need. Type it in the address bar (Opera) and click for Google. Finds what I want and 99% of the time on the first entry.
    Lazy? You bet! Going to stop doing it? No. Use it to find Google? Been there, done that. Let technology sort it for me!

      If you can't spell Facebook, I do have to wonder . . .

    Some of these might be mistakes. I often end up googling "Google" when I type it in the address bar, try and hit Ctrl+Enter but miss Control and just press Enter.

    I've lost count of the number of times I've told my mum to just type what she's looking for into the address bar - and with Firefox's awesome bar it would probably come up even quicker than using a search - but she still types things like "hotmail" into the google search box.

    I think it's probably also a home-page-related thing. A lot of people use google as their home page, and as such the first thing they see when they open their browser is a big search box in the middle of the screen - which the cursor automatically heads to. If their home page was blank, or was some other site, they would be more likely to use the address bar to reach their most-used sites.

    Firefox is even smarter than using CTRL+Enter in the address bar. Just by typing the site name (eg "lifehacker") and hitting enter, it will find the correct domain for you.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now