Our prediction about Facebook overtaking Google this year, in terms of overall visitor traffic, may have been off just a bit. We predicted it would happen during Summer or sometime in early Autumn.
The Race is On With a Statistical Dead Heat!
Experian Hitwise is reporting, however, Google’s overall market share in the United States was actually just below Facebook’s overall market share for the week ending March 13. This is not a surprise for us, because we have been watching the trend lines on Quantcast and Alexa for about a year, and the upward climb of Facebook has been meteoric! So, when we predicted Google would overtake Facebook, on our February 4, 2010 post in Social Media, we were well aware of the trend, we just didn’t realize it would happen THAT quickly.
The Hitwise.com numbers demonstrate the shifting trends of users who used to simply go to Google to search for items, but now they want to find that product with a storefront in the great Web-mall called Facebook. That is something Google is yet to offer. And Facebook is allied with Bing to provide search results, further tearing at the Google visitor count.
The following graphic, gleaned from a short blog on Website Magazine’s website, shows the trend line for overall market share, with Google and Facebook accounting for 14% of all U.S.-based web traffic on March 13. That is a huge slice of the “W3 Pie”!
What the market numbers reveal about the destination of visitor traffic is extraordinary. But what we do not know is what pages are being visited most, which users and fan pages have the most traffic, what searches are generating the greatest visitor volume, how apps like Farmville, Mafia Wars and Vampire Wars, to name a few, are growing the traffic.
Between online storefronts on Facebook, reuniting family and friends, the presence of simplistic MMOG’s, the outgrowth of new & concise search results, Facebook has apparently become – at least this is true at the moment – the one thing Google has not. Facebook IS the Internet.
Now, why didn’t we try to do that?