Do browsers need an address bar? Internet searches suggest no

That bar at the top of your browser, yep the one with the url of this website in it. How often do you actually type an address in there? Seems the majority of Internet users don't bother at all instead preferring to enter website names into Google.

Monitoring company Hitwise has analysed the top 1,000 search terms for 2011 and found that people like to just search for domain names.

For the third year running Facebook is the number one search term in the US accounting for 3.10 percent of all searches, a 46 percent increase from 2010.

Four variations of the term "facebook" were among the top 10 terms and accounted for 4.42 percent of searches overall, a 24 percent increase from 2010.

Among the top 10 terms, "youtube" moved up from the third spot in 2010 to the second spot in 2011.

Only one of the top 10 searches wouldn't work if you simply put a .com at the end of the word. That was "Facebook login", which as Facebook users will know is accessible by typing Facebook.com.  

Even more outrageous to those that use the Internet on a regular basis is the fact that the fifth most searched for term Hitwise tracked was facebook.com.

Facebook.com moved up one spot in 2011 to be among the top five search terms. Analysis of the search terms revealed that social networking–related terms dominated the results, accounting for 4.18 percent of the top 50 searches. This is an increase of 12 percent compared with 2010.

When combined, common search terms for Facebook - e.g., facebook and facebook.com - accounted for 3.48 percent of all searches in the United States among the top 50 terms, which represents a 33 percent increase compared with 2010.

YouTube terms accounted for 1.36 percent, representing a 21 percent increase compared with 2010. Google terms (including YouTube) accounted for 1.59 percent - an increase of 27 percent compared with 2010. Yahoo terms accounted for 0.59 percent - an increase of 15 percent compared with 2010.

1. facebook

2. youtube

3. facebook login

4. craigslist

5. facebook.com

6. yahoo

7. ebay

8. www.facebook.com

9. mapquest

10. yahoo.com

New terms that entered the top 50 search terms for 2011 included addicting games, amazon.com, cnn, chase online, face, facebook sign up, hotmail, lowes, pandora, twitter and you.

"Navigational searches dominated the top search results as users typed in terms versus typing in the URL in the browser bar," said Simon Bradstock, general manager of Experian Hitwise.

All those people searching for Facebook meant that Facebook was the top-visited Website for the second year and accounted for 10.29 percent of all U.S. visits between January and November 2011 - a 15 percent increase from 2010.

Google.com ranked second, with 7.70 percent of visits - a 7 percent increase - followed by YouTube (3.17 percent), Yahoo! Mail (2.95 percent) and Yahoo! (2.47 percent).

Do you use Google to search for domains you already know? Let us know in the comments below.