Home The Top 100 Search Terms Queried by Kids

The Top 100 Search Terms Queried by Kids

Security firm Symantec has identified the top 100 searches conducted by children online. Popular items in the list include some expected entries like YouTube, Facebook, and MySpace as well as queries for popular pop idols like Michael Jackson and Miley Cyrus. However, what’s surprising about the children’s list is how similar it looks to that of any other online adult – something which seems to imply that our online activities aren’t all that age dependent after all.

Trend #1: Some Search Terms are All Grown Up

Online websites like YouTube, eBay, Craigslist, Facebook, and MySpace were popular online searches performed by children. YouTube actually ended up in three spots. Not only was the query “YouTube” the number one search term, it also landed spots 11 and 12 with “You Tube” and “YouTube.com” respectively. Actually, YouTube also earned spot #9 as well, if you count the query for “Fred,” a popular fictional character whose YouTube channel is a current big hit with kids.

While there are a lot of indications that this is, indeed, a children’s list thanks to searches for pop stars, games, music, and the phenomenon that is “Twilight,” there are also a lot of similarities between this list and the one which you might expect to see if adult searches were culled in the same manner. The most shocking example of these similarities comes in at number 6: “porn.” Ranking higher than the other innocent entries like Club Penguin (#22) and the online world of Webkinz (#16), it seems that kids, too, are drawn to this darker side of the internet. And “porn” isn’t the only sexual term to make the list. Spots 4, 28, 72, 86, 88, 89, 91, 92, 94, and 95 also refer to queries for…well…lets say “various parts of the human anatomy” or other general search sex-related terms like “XXX.”

Of course, this list may not be entirely representative of what all children search for online as the data is pulled from OnlineFamily.Norton, a family safety service provided by Symantec. It’s possible that parents who chose to implement this type of service in their home are already dealing with children who are using the internet for inappropriate searches and this is their attempt to stop those from occurring. However, the results are based on 3.5 million searches made between February and July of this year, which is too large a number to entirely discount the findings.

Trend #2: Searching Instead of Entering URLs

Another somewhat unexpected insight gained by examining this data is the fact that kids are searching for easy-to-remember URLs including Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Yahoo, MSN, and even Google. Why search when simply adding a “.com” on the end will take you directly there? Some may say that this points to children not entirely grasping the way internet addresses work, but it’s more likely an example of the trend where search has replaced typing in URLs for navigating the net.

We made note of this trend back in May of last year when we noticed an advertisement suggesting we do a search for their company name instead of providing their URL. Apparently, this is already par-for-the-course in Japan, where search boxes filled with recommended terms have replaced URLs in advertisements. Then there’s Google’s Chrome web browser, the newest one to hit the scene, which has done away with the search box entirely in favor of an address bar which accepts both URLs and search queries (taking you to Google.com of course).

It looks like today’s kids are onto this trend as well. The habits they’re forming now will most likely stay with them as they grow older, too, creating a whole new generation of searchers who forgo the “www’ and the “.com” entirely.

Top Searches

The top 10 searches on the kids’ list are as follows:

1. YouTube

2. Google

3. Facebook

4. Sex

5. MySpace

6. Porn

7. Yahoo

8. Michael Jackson

9. Fred

10. eBay

For the complete list, go here.

Image credit: flickr user pixelrobber

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