How do you use the URL bar? As a history box, where typing one or two letters brings up your most-visited websites? As a search tool to jump straight to Google search results? Or do you still do things the old fashioned way, typing in full URLs to visit websites? Apparently that last method is still pretty popular, especially among Facebook users.
Web designer Christopher Finke, maker of the Firefox URL Fixer add-on, collected anonymous URL stats from users who approved the option in URL Fixer. Out of 7.5 million users typin' URLs over the past six months, Facebook owned nine percent of the results. Nothing else even came close--Google and Youtube both scored about 3.3 percent. More surprising, though, is the staying power of WWW: nearly 50 percent of URL Fixer's users still type in the prefix before domain names.
49.5 percent of users manually typed in WWW before a domain name--that's a ton of people, but just barely a minority. We'd like to see how this figure changes over the next couple years--will it keep going down?
Finke's most interesting stats come from the typos URL Fixer tracked. He found that Faceboook.com, a scam site, was the most-typed URL belonging to an illegitimate website. Despite that fact, it was only typed once for every 7930 times the proper Facebook.com address was typed. Googe.com and Goole.com were runners-up.
The most popular domains behind Facebook and Google belong to web giants: Youtube, Gmail, Twitter, mail.google, Yahoo, Hotmail, Amazon and Reddit. Gmail.com and Twitter.com got about 1 percent of the typed URL traffic, while the rest grabbed .5-.6 percent.
Finke also tracked locales, which revealed most of the world seriously loves Facebook and Google:
The only locales where neither Google nor Facebook control the most popular domain are ru-RU (Russia - vkontakte.ru), fi-FI (Finland - aapeli.com, a gaming website), ko-KR (Korea - fomos.kr, an e-sports website), and zh-CN (China - baidu.com).
These results obviously represent a very small slice of web users, but they're interesting nonetheless--users who download an add-on and opt into anonymous tracking are probably savvy enough, in general, to use the Firefox AwesomeBar features more than typing in URLs directly. Some old habits are tough to break.
Image via TechCrunch