According to research released by Hitwise, the analyst charged with looking at all things Internet based, Facebook has finally eclipsed the unbeatable Google in terms of web traffic in the US. The thinkable happened in the week ending March 13th, and saw Facebook pass Google for visits that week. Facebook amounted 7.97% of all web traffic that week, more than Google’s 7.03%.
This isn’t the first time that Facebook has achieved more traffic than Google either, as it hit the top spot on January 1st 2010, Christmas Day 2009 and New Year’s Eve 2009 – with its users wishing their friends family season’s greetings.
Since the same period last year, Facebook’s share of web traffic has increased by a staggering 185%. Google meanwhile has only enjoyed a paltry increase of 9%.
Does this mean Google’s crown is slipping and Facebook is the new king of the Internet? Does this mean that advertisers should shut down their Google Adwords accounts and start using Facebook’s PPC system? Does it mean Bing will creep up on the blindside and pass Google, as the once great behemoth’s tyres are flat?
No, of course not. It means that people use Facebook…a lot. It means that people check Facebook several times each day, and many of Facebook’s 400 million plus users can’t go a day without seeing who poked them and what’s happening on their fun wall.
People use Facebook for communicating with friends, which naturally means they’ll come back to it as their friends reply. Google however is used to find stuff out – and as you find stuff out on Google very quickly, you don’t really need to revisit it again and again.
If Google were only interested in achieving page impressions, so its advertisers could achieve ad impressions, it wouldn’t be quite so effective at matching results with users’ queries. It would draw the whole process out a bit, like Bing does. Then Google’s share of web traffic might go up… temporarily until people started to use a more effective search engine.