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2013’s Top 10 Most Searched Dating Sites According To Google

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Things we were into in 2013: Nelson Mandela, the iPhone 5s, bingewatching, twerking, Bitcoin, Bat-Kid, Breaking Bad, the royal baby, Grumpy Cat, and screaming goats.

Earlier this month Google released its annual Zeitgeist List, a collection of the top Google searches for the last 365 days that reveal what defined the year in pop culture, politics, technology, and more. "Every day, around the world, we search," Amit Singhal, senior vice president and Google Fellow, wrote in a Dec. 17 blog post. "We want to find out more about our heroes, explore far-away destinations or settle a dinner-table dispute between friends."

Because of that compulsive urge to search anything and everything online, Google is given unprecedented access to what captures the public imagination. The year-end Zeitgeist list uses Google Trends and other internal data tools to tap into the top trending searches of 2013 from 72 countries, and create a snapshot of the biggest people, places, moments, companies, and gadgets of the year.

Online dating plays an increasingly large role in the way we meet and choose our partners, so naturally Google included the year's most popular online dating services on the list. According to Google Zeitgeist, 2013's top ten dating services are:

  1. Match.com
  2. Chemistry.com
  3. PlentyOfFish.com
  4. Zoosk.com
  5. eHarmony.com
  6. FriendFinder.com
  7. Tinder
  8. Hinge
  9. OurTime.com
  10. OkCupid

Many of last year's entries are back again, though none retained the same positions. Match moved up a spot from #2 to #1, while PlentyOfFish dropped from the first place to third. OkCupid took a major hit in 2013, falling to #10 from #3 in 2012. Zoosk climbed a couple of spots to the forth position, and eHarmony fell slightly to fifth.

DateHookup, ChristianMingle, AdultFriendFinder, JDate, and SinglesNet all ranked last year but failed to make it on the 2013 Zeitgeist list. Instead, FriendFinder, OurTime, Chemistry, Tinder, and Hinge came from behind to take their place.

The most interesting additions to the list are, without a doubt, those last two. Tinder uses Facebook profiles to match members who respond with a simple left or right swipe to say "Yes" or "No." Hinge appears similar at first glance, but uses a "romance graph" to pair you with friends of friends that best suit your style - in other words, Tinder might get you a great hookup, but Hinge will find you a great relationship. Mobile dating took off in a big way this year, and shows no sign of stopping, so expect to see even more mobile services on the 2014 Zeitgeist report.

Top Relationship Experts Team Up With Online Dating Sites

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Two is hardly enough to call it a trend, but if online dating sites collaborating with relationship experts does become a thing, I am fully in support of it.

Earlier this fall, one of America's longest-serving advice columnists, E. Jean Carroll, began a new partnership between HowAboutWe and Elle magazine. The arrangement, called Elle dating, is part of HowAboutWe's media partners program. Joining forces with a fashion magazine may not seem like the natural course of action for a dating site, but HowAboutWe believes the alliance could go a long way towards helping people who might otherwise object to finding love on the Web warm up to the idea.

Carroll's Elle column has long been an important fixture for the magazine. A membership to HowAboutWe through Elle will cost $30 per month, and for $500 an Elle reader can get a one-on-one telephone consultation with Carroll and the services of Tawkify, the small matchmaking firm she founded two years ago. Carroll hopes that her influence will bring a sense of serendipity to HowAboutWe that can be lost in other online dating services.

Are You Interested is also jumping on the expert bandwagon. AYI.com recently announced that author and relationship expert Laurel House will join the site as its resident dating coach. Laurel has appeared on numerous television shows, including E! News, Weekend TODAY, and most recently MTV, where she was the ultimate "It Girl" dating and confidence-boosting coach for an episode of the channel's MADE show. She is also the author of QuickieChick's Cheat Sheet to Life, Love, Food, Fitness, Fashion and Finance on a Less than Fabulous Budget and the upcoming book No-Games Guide to Love.

For her collaboration with AYI, House will post written and video content to the site's blog to help guide singles through the online dating experience. She will be available via AYI.com's social platforms to offer personalized dating tips to members, and will act as a face of the AYI brand in media interviews.

SNAP's Chief Executive Officer Clifford Lerner commented, "We believe Laurel's depth of experience and professional expertise is unmatched and will greatly help singles looking to connect online. She is aware of what single men and women are looking for in the online dating experience and her ability to guide them in their search for love will only better the AYI.com experience."

My favorite collaboration between an expert and a dating site remains the inimitable Dr. Helen Fisher, who serves as leading expert on the biology of love and attraction for Chemistry.com, but I'm excited to see more professionals in various dating and relationships fields lend their support to the online dating movement.

Is Social Media Giving Online Dating a Boost?

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A few years ago, Match.com became a household name when it comes to online dating. Now that mobile apps like Tinder have gained popularity and people are looking to newer and niche online dating sites like JDate or How About We, people are starting to see what else is out there.

In fact, social media, and Facebook in particular, are becoming players in the game. While traditional sites rely on new sign-ups and static searches, social media-friendly dating sites and apps pull information from a vast pool of active Facebook profiles and introduce you to friends of friends in your network. This has become a big draw for people, because most singles feel more comfortable meeting someone new if they have a friend in common. This is especially true for women, who are sometimes skeptical of the safety of online dating.

According to an article in Wall Street Cheat Sheet, entrepreneurs are just beginning to understand the importance of utilizing social media in industries like online dating, which could mean big revenues in the future. LinkedIn has gained traction in the social media space because the platform focuses solely on job seekers and networkers looking for career opportunities. There is a sense of trust when someone comes recommended for a job by a mutual friend or co-worker, so companies are looking to the service to attract new employees. So why not apply the same principal to those looking for a date?

InterActiveCorp (IAC) is one of the largest publicly traded online dating companies. They own traditional sites like Match.com, Chemistry.com, and OkCupid. However, SNAP Interactive, a new player in the social media space is fast gaining ground. The company is the owner of AYI (Are You Interested?), one of the first dating apps launched using Facebook's social platform. It is currently integrated with 25 million Facebook profiles and has been downloaded and installed over 70 million times, according to its website.

What sets AYI apart is that it came to the market first and has an extensive membership base, so the information they are able to pull from Facebook to help people meet friends of friends is extensive. Search capabilities also include an interest graph which allows people to search according to specific interests and hobbies. In five years, revenues have grown from 425,000 to 19.1 million. Company executives are investing this revenue into new technology to improve the user experience.

The online dating space is still growing, but not surprisingly, it seems to be headed in the direction of social media.

Chemistry's FREE this February Weekend - 2013

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Chemistry.com is having a free weekend starting today and it will run for 72 hours. This means Friday February 1st, and all day Saturday, and Sunday February 3rd new and existing members of Chemistry will be able to us all the features of the dating site at no cost and with no credit card required.

When you register during this promotion you will be able to create a profile and complete the personality test. When you are finished you will then receive your quality matches. There is no searching on Chemistry as their matching algorithm takes care of this process by matching you with the best candidates for long-term relationships. With your matches you will be able to view their complete profile and photos along with communicating with them by using email and chemistry starters.

There last free weekend happened in October of 2012. To find out more on this dating service please read our Chemistry.com review.

IAC and World Domination

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You may not have heard of IAC, but you've definitely heard about what IAC is doing.

Back in 2005, the Internet-focused conglomerate owned a diverse range of businesses that included Expedia, the Home Shopping Network, and Ticketmaster. All were fast-growing businesses, but they failed to work together as a coherent whole.

Over the next three years IAC streamlined, whittling down its assets to 23 businesses and more than 150 Web and media-related brands. Now, in 2012, IAC's ventures total 5.91 billion pages views per month.

IAC will continue to transform, but one thing is certain: the company isn't going away any time soon. Its two main businesses - online dating and Internet search - are thriving and show no signs of doing anything but that for a long time to come. IAC dominates the online dating industry as owner of Match.com and 30 other dating sites, and offers search services through Ask.com and a collection of apps.

Chemistry's FREE this October Weekend - 2012

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From Friday October 19 2012, to Sunday October 21, 2012 members of Chemistry will be able to communicate for free.

Along with communication, this free weekend allows members to create a profile, take the personality test and to receive matches. Once you have decided which matches you wish to contact by viewing their profiles and photos, you can then use Chemistry Starters to initiate communication with that member. Chemistry Starters are fun online activities designed to help you break the ice and get to know your matches better. If you wish to skip the Chemistry Starters, no problem as you can also send emails right away. This 72 hour promotion is completely free and no credit card is required.

It looks like Chemistry had their last free communication weekend in July. To find out more about this dating site which matches members for long-term relationships you can read our Chemistry review.