Facebook traffic finally triumphs over Google

Ronny Kerr · December 30, 2010 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/1565

Facebook accounts for four of the 10 most searched terms and is the most visited website in 2010

In 2009, two of the top 10 most-searched terms on the Web were “facebook” and “facebook login.” In 2010, two new terms made it onto the list: “facebook.com” “www.facebook.com.” I guess people are really trying to find their way to the biggest social networking site in the world. (Why they don’t just type the URLs in the address bar is beyond me; was 2010 the year Facebook attracted millions of Internet noobs?)

2010 top terms2010 top sites

Either way, its occupation of nearly half the list of most-searched terms makes perfect sense, when one considers that Facebook was the most-visited website of 2010, according to online intelligence service Experian Hitwise. The only other websites to move up in rank were YouTube, which climbed two spots, MSN, which climbed three spots, and Bing, which didn’t appear on the 2009 list (it didn’t launch until June of that year, so it makes sense that it wouldn’t have a chance until the full year started).

To account for all that upward movement, three heavy-hitters (Google, Yahoo Mail, and Yahoo Search) moved down one spot, two others (Myspace, Windows Live Mail) dropped two spots, and eBay dropped off the list entirely.

As many analysts have been noting, Google ruled the past decade by creating an unbeatable combination of search engine optimization and advertising. The Web, however, is rapidly evolving to deliver a more personal experience that can only be curated by a service that knows all the things you and your friends like. The Google Internet is transforming into a Facebook Internet.

comScore reported in September that Facebook accounts for nearly 10 percent of time spent online in the U.S.

It’s worth remembering that Hitwise is hardly the definitive source on Web traffic. Analytics services Alexa and Compete still rank Google on top, with Facebook trailing.

facebook compete google

I really like the following three graphs, all provided by website ranking service Alexa, because they perfectly illustrate the rise of Facebook in the last couple years. Below is represented the "daily reach" of each site, meaning what percentage of Internet users each reaches on a daily basis.

Alexa daily reach

Here we see daily pageviews for each site, which shows that Facebook had already begun to rival Google in 2009:

Alexa daily page views

The third and final graph, pictured below, demonstrates something really interesting. While daily pageviews overall might be pretty neck and neck above, Facebook has for at least two years clearly dominated Google in terms of daily pageviews per user.

Alexa daily pageviews per user

What will be the top site at the end of 2011?

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