Google beaten by Facebook
Social network’s homepage now more popular than Google.com with American users
New figures suggest that social networking is continuing to gain in popularity on the web, and that the way users search the internet is changing.
According to research firm Hitwise, Facebook.com now accounts for 7.07pc of all American web traffic, while Google.com is the destination for 7.04pc of traffic.
Facebook has grown from 200m users in April 2009 to 400 million this February and is continuing to grow faster than Google.com. That means the social network’s lead is likely to increase in coming months.
The figures for Google.com, however, do not include national versions of the search engine, such as Google.co.uk, or figures for other Google services such as email, maps and YouTube.
Of perhaps greater significance, however, is the fact that they do not include searches that come direct from browser search bars or from other websites.
That means that, in daily experience, American users are continuing to search the web via Google far more than they are using Facebook because search is increasingly integrated into other sites and programmes.
Users spent an average of more than five and half hours on social networking sites in December 2009, which is an 82pc increase on the previous year, according to research from Nielsen. American users were typically an hour above that average.