1 in every 150 searches relates to the World Cup

Football tournament to dominate net searches for next month

Not only will the World Cup dominate our TV screens for the next month, it's also set to dominate our web surfing, says Hitwise.

Research by the web analytics firm has revealed that for the week ending June 5, before the tournament had even started, 0.66 percent of all search terms included a reference to the Fifa World Cup.

That's one in every 150 terms searched for on the net.

"The internet is going to play a massive role in this World Cup," said Robin Goad, research director at Hitwise.

Goad said that as soon as England qualified, there was a surge in traffic to travel websites as searches for flights to South Africa increased by 43 percent.

Hitwise revealed that in the same week, Fifa's website was the 8th most visited sports related site by Brits. Furthermore, UK internet visits to sports websites surged by 11.5 percent for the week ending June 5, compared to the previous week.

"The official Fifa website has been the biggest recipient of World Cup related searches in the run up to the event, but it will be overtaken by other sites once the tournament gets under way," said Goad.

Hitwise said Rio Ferdinand was the most searched player in the UK, closely followed by Joe Cole and Theo Walcott.

"The lists of the most searched players in different countries reveal the global popularity of the biggest stars," said Goad.

"People all over the world are searching for Cristiano Ronaldo. Of all the countries that we studied, only in England and Brazil were the top 10s dominated by domestic players."

See also: This year's World Cup first to offer flawless streaming?

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Carrie-Ann Skinner

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