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Facebook Notches A Small Victory

March 18, 2010

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Facebook overtook Google as the most visited website for the week ending March 13, 2010.  According to research compiled by Experian Hitwise, Facebook totaled 7.07% of the market share of visits, while Google finished just behind with 7.03% of the market share.

This marks the first time that Facebook has earned the top ranking over the span of an entire week.  The social media service had recently achieved the number one ranking on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Day, and the weekend of March 6th and 7th.

The rise to the top spot seemed inevitable, as the rapid growth of Facebook would indicate.  The market share of visits to Facebook increased 185% compared to the same week a year ago.  On the other side, Google recorded a 9% increase in market share during the same time frame.

The victory is a notable achievement for the popular social media service.  Google has long been the reigning website for overall traffic, both in the U.S. and globally.  The top ranking may suggest that people are resorting to ‘friends’ and social networks for information rather than search engines and unfamiliar websites.

Impressive numbers aside, the results should be analyzed in proper context.  The ranking only covers a week’s worth of time.  The results do not include traffic to the various other Google services such as GMail or YouTube.  The research also does not include hits from embedded browser search fields.

The ascension of Facebook may allude to more advertisers migrating from Google pages to the social media platform.  The huge climb in popularity may also signify an evolution in content gathering methods.

“It shows content sharing has become a huge driving force online,” said Matt Tatham, Director of Media Relations at Hitwise.  “People want information from friends they trust, versus the anonymity of a search engine.” 

Graphic by Experian Hitwise

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