Facebook Unseats Google As Most-Visited Site

Social network beat search engine in the U.S., according to Hitwise

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Although the "thud" wasn’t verified until this afternoon, it seems that an online giant fell a couple of days ago.  According to new data from Hitwise, Facebook managed to beat Google in terms of visits between March 7th and March 13th, becoming the most visited website in the U.S. for the week.

The graph visible below makes the changeup pretty clear (blame the sloppy enlarged bit on us, not Hitwise).  What’s more, it doesn’t look like Facebook’s going to relinquish its lead anytime soon.

Heather Dougherty explained, "The market share of visits to Facebook.com increased 185% last week as compared to the same week in 2009, while visits to Google.com increased 9% during the same time frame."

Then here’s one more interesting fact, courtesy of Dougherty: "Together Facebook.com and Google.com accounted for 14% of all US Internet visits last week."

Anyway, this development represents a major win for Facebook.  The ability to represent the social network as the number one site should count for a lot as corporate representatives talk to advertisers and investors, and could result in a direct boost in revenue.  A further snowball effect in terms of user interest might occur, too, since most people like to be part of something that’s popular.

Facebook Unseats Google As Most-Visited Site
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  • http://www.adelaidedance.com adelaide dancing

    it’s not surprising considering that facebook is a lot more sticky than google, although i think google still has a role to play with search, it’s only natural that they would use google less because once you’re done searching you move onto something else

  • http://webpierat.com Jill Kocher

    Reply to affiliate marketing tips: To say that Google is on its way out because a site with a completely different purpose has surpassed Google in visits is to miss the point entirely. The 2 sites aren’t competing for a single audience, they have unique reasons for existing. Apples & oranges.

  • http://www.superfloorcoat.com Concrete Floor Coatings

    Using Google with Facebook is Great! along with Twitter, if you can capitalize on the 3 Triad. Works great spreading your brand and digital word of mouth.

  • http://texxsmith.com Texxs

    And where is Yahoo in all this. traditionally Yahoo has been the most popular site on the internet. Did it fall? If so how far? And when?

  • http://www.interactive-mix.com Aaron Savage

    I think those predicting the early death of Google are mad. Facebook is a sticky site and it is a natural first (and repeat) destination. What the graph doesn’t show is engagement and length of time spent on the site and whether people are using Facebook purely to keep in touch with friends or for business. I would be interested to see those number, otherwise its simply a bit of sensationalism which is interesting but not indicative of a wholesale change of internet usage habits.

  • WebResearcher

    This information alone is not sufficient to make any judgment. One has to look at different aspects.

    Try Alexa and compare the sites, then you will know more information and be able to understand situation.

  • http://danielleparsons.com Danielle Parsons

    More and more people realize Facebook is an excellent place to share your business.

  • http://www.monasutherland.com Mona Sutherland

    Although I’m on FB all the time, and create online presences for companies that I work for, Google is clearly better for search, whereas Facebook is great for social networking, which aren’t 100% interchangeable…

    Maybe this just means that we’re all spending too much time thinking of something witty to say to post on Facebook!!!

  • http://www.lifestyle-management.eu Sadie-Michaela Harris

    Facebook, like Twitter when used correctly is a fantastic business tool. I am a fan!

  • http://www.thewebsitebooster.com/ thewebsite booster

    I think FaceBook (FB) is a once a week website to visit much like Twitter. Twitter does not come close to FB. Twitter is a thing of the past. Limited characters no pictures no good. Great for a small business much like instant messages.

    How can someone have 500 or even 7,000 followers and you are expected to look at all the tweets What a joke.

    Google is great for searches and Blogs but Yahoo is probably the best website for news and events as well as searches and Blogs.



  • http://www.visionefx.net Rick Vidallon

    All the hours you spend building your social networking pages for business purposes could fall by the wayside someday. Either the fad site you are using will fade or become pass

    • vybixa

      Pretty good list of social networking sites you have there. The killer list, though, would be of serch engines ……… now that would be an interesting read.

  • http://capacitarecuador.com Marketing Ecuador

    Despite Facebook appears as the winner of the week we should not forget the Power concentrated on Google. They can market and rung marketing campaigns around the globe from Arizona to Quito Ecuador. This means Google has the traffic but facebook is getting the people which is something Google is actually trying to do desperately, to position themselves at the 2.0 Blogsphere.


  • http://www.wtfis.com bvllets

    I’d love to see the metric of % of time wasted on Facebook versus the time spent learning something with Google.

  • Guest

    Everyone I know goes to Facebook to play games and socialize.

    If I need something for my car or home or need information on a technical computer question
    I don’t go to Facebook.
    I go to Google.

    Facebook is like MySpace. Anyone remember MySpace? LOL
    Popular now but will be a distant memory when the next big thing comes along.

    • vybixa

      That next BIG thing is here, didn’t you know? FB has twinned with BING (now that is BIG!). you can now do searched from within FB ……

  • http://vscarpetcleaning.com jimbo

    umm is that unique hits or people visiting like 80 times a day at work ? I would like more data on what exactly this measured.

  • http://vscarpetcleaning.com cleaning man

    I love facebook , I do ! but would I click on any advertising from there ? Would I look for a service from there ?. Would I be willing to spend for Facebook and the answer is NO to all . yeah , facebook is great if its free and thats it. I see no value as a surfer for facebook other than talk to friends and catch up on whats going on. I do not think most people on there would even be interested in shopping on facebook . Unfortunately for facebook its just not sales friendly.

    So the point is mute so what if facebook gets 100 times more traffic than google if it cannot convert that traffic to sales for itself or sponsors.

    • vybixa

      Hmmm! I guess the mute point is the one you are making, though I’d rather call it a moot point.
      Now that Facebook (through oodle) are offering advertisements (be it free for now), is a case for “leverageable” opportunities. And though I use facebook and google regularly, I have NEVER based my decision on how my using either service would benefit their respective sponsors / advertisiers.

  • http://www.bobdebilder.net Bob

    Things do work in cycles and I don’t believe it is a comparison that should be made as they are satisfying different needs of users.

  • rb

    After all, they perform entirely different functions.

    As for the end for Google, I highly doubt it. For example, I’ve been waiting for Microsoft to wither up and blow away for years…

  • Steve

    here is the way I see it. Its just like the Big Three, car companies, etc.

    Look at how everyones life is changing.

    facebook is addictive. Google is another.

  • http://www.MyOrlandoAgent.com Scott Taylor, Realtor, P.A.

    My guess as to why Facebook exceeded Google’s number of visits during that time period may be due to the fact that Facebook e-mail notifications are set to notify you when someone has left a comment pertaining to a thread that you entered on Facebook or have replied to which engages the receiver and coaxes them to log back on to either post a reply or response. So let’s say a user posted a comment and got a reply which e-mails the user. He then logs back on to comment on the reply. Busy Facebook users could visit the site many times during the day whereas a typical internet surfer may only visit Google once a week to search for something. Considering there are other good search engines out there and that a web surfer wouldn’t necessarily go onto Google for their search query, that number (one a week visit to Google) may be very conservative. I’m a Realtor in Orlando, Florida. Orlando real estate is booming but no thanks to Google who apparently now places paid placement higher than organic results. Shame on Google for selling out. I used to use Google exclusively but I truly believe there are better search engines. Of course I won’t name names. Maybe Facebook should start their own search engine.

  • http://www.siskiyouwebdesign.com Siskiyou Web Design

    How many people out there have it as their starting page when they first open their Browser? This could account for much of the Traffic, people really are visiting the Social Media as part of their day, including me.

  • http://www.FireUps.com paul

    Google is the information hub, the index of indexes and has an answer for everything.. just ask em’. FB is for wasting time. FB will never replace Google. sorry.

    This just tells us that the government needs to stop extending unemployment benefits.

    • http://www.oilsyntheticoil.com/page/1107874 santana

      I use google to search . Two months ago never used face book. TOday have hooked up with old high school and up friends. I thought it was a waste of time at first. In the end facebook will be connecting like mind people. Then it will be worth while. I think it will keep growing.

    • http://www.gadget-talk.org.uk Andy W

      Facebook may not replace Google as a SEARCH engine, and I grant you that the two are different, but as another poster points out on this page, Google is NOT the only SE. In addition Google only indexes about 5 per cent or less of the entire WWW and while it may, for the moment be the best SE, it certainly isn’t a complete index of the web by any means.
      Neither is it particularly intelligent as its search results often ( always ?? ) misinterpret the sense of words, where for example a word may have several meanings but one spelling – resulting in irrelevant search results. I don’t know whether it’s my imagination, but in my experience Google search results have got worse recently.
      From an advertiser’s point of view, Google Adwords is very expensive and because it depends on keywords, potentially open to minsinterpretation if the keyword match is too broad for example. Such misinterpretation can result in a massive haemorrhage of advertiser’s cash on irrelevant search queries. Social network groups or even forums on the other hand, are by definition people with a shared interest, profession or pre-occupation and as such provide a ready made and well selected target for advertisers and since Adwords is Google’ main source of revenue social media advertising ( including FB ) is bound to make serious inroads into Google’ market share.

  • http://www.gadget-talk.org.uk Andy W

    We can see which way the wind is blowing. Facebook and social media is the future of advertising. Google is the past

  • http://www.web-konsult.com Aderemi Ojikutu

    Web 3.0 will not just be about traffic and social media, it is also about great value added to internet users. If Google overthrew yahoo and MS through search traffic, Facebook might as well give a beautiful and visible expression to some intrinsic web values to internet users which Goog, Yahoo had ignored until now.

    The truth is that with Facebook as the leader, Google and Yahoo are waking to catch up with it. Understandably the deployment of BING, BUZZ, and other recent introductions by these old giants are the belated expressions of that web race which they are gradually losing to Facebook.

  • Erick S.

    My guess is that this is because Facebook is rather new, fresh and seems to work. And Google is ‘just’ embedded in peoples minds as ‘if I have to search the web, I use Google’.

    Why would people be searching all the time? After a few years of internet experience people will probably have a list of bookmarks to the stores/services were they sucsesfully bought whatever product or got whatever service. And maybe because of this not every time start a new search for: DVD player

    My last PC I bought at the same supplier as the one before. Did no search and went straight to the website of this supplier…this way Google is also losing terrain.

    Could it be something like this?

    • http://www.great-seo.co.uk Sam Langdon

      I think this reinforces the trend towards community recommendation rather than search. Web users are beginning to see the benefit of having friends, family and colleagues suggest websites rather than searching themselves.

      That in mind, I recently wrote an article about what I’ve called Combined Search Optmisation – the need to optimise your website to be found easily in some of the more popular social media websites, in addition to and in combination with SEO. Any comments welcomed:


      • Erick S.

        Hey Sam,

        Will read your article, it’s something that I think about a lot.

        Ik am even thinking to push people (for who I create websites) to maintain a Facebook page when they have a website. This to influence the searchresults and so…

        But problem I have with this is the fact that someones personal webpage will probably appear beneath the Facebook page(s) that appear in the sarchresults…I hate that.

        The day a Facebook page appears above my own website when someone searches for my name I really get mad! It’s not fair…actually…

  • http://www.how2e-books.com/ Guest

    Ok, if Facebook is beating Google.. how do people go there? By Google.. so how can they beat Google? :)

    • http://www.wayne1.com Wayne Iremonger

      A lot of ways to get to Facebook or other sites .I.E. Lycos,Ask ,Bing ,Yahoo, Wikipedia.And of course Google they all will get you there it is just that Google is probably the most used..

    • http://www.salsurra.com Sal Surra

      Who the heck uses Google to get to Facebook? That is so ridiculous to hear. Most people either have Facebook bookmarked or use a mobile app to access it without the need or assistance from Google. Only a web newbie would go to Google to find Facebook and that is not the norm today. Facebook is beating Google because they have pages that people want to be on, whereas Google is a sites for people to go to other pages.

      Google doesn’t make any content, and only provides links to other websites so it was only a matter of time before another site would come along and have more appeal to keep people visiting their site more often.

      There are 4 main search engines, and for the most part people can find what they are looking for from any of them, whereas there is only one Facebook and the contacts and interactions that go on there are exclusive to their site. This makes Facebook a destination that people want to go to, rather than a search engine that people use as a tool to find another site with.

      I don’t ever hear people say yeah ‘I’m just surfing on Google, or checking out my contacts on Google, or I’m playing Farmville on Google”. Yet, all of these things happen on Facebook and bring visitors there daily to do these things.

      The only thing Google is used for is to do a search to find another site, where people want to go to Facebook and they look forward to signing in there to get their updates and share things with others. Google is just a search engine that connects people to other sites, but Facebook is a social network that people want to go to.

      You don’t need Google to get to Facebook and Facebook doesn’t aggregate nothing from Google, wheras Google aggregates content on Facebook to people within a social circle. This means that Google doesn’t have anything that Facebook wants, but Google wants what Facebook has.

  • http://www.ellefagan.com Elle Fagan

    The two entities vary in their mission, focus and paths. And for search, Google is more serious and Facebook “fools around too much” and we need our minds to be “fine online”

    So I do hope that wonderful Facebook AND Google thrive alongside one another well, but not as competitors for anything but visits.

  • Eric

    It’s great that FB has beat the Big G in visits. But when it comes to Revenue and Profits.
    Google is the winner by far. In the business world that’s all that counts.

    Once FB learns to how to properly monetize their business.
    It will truly be a match for Google.

  • http://www.agapechiropractic.com Michael Haley

    Although people spend more time on facebook, most people probably require Google more than facebook. I doubt facebook will ever become a leader in the search engine market, but Google with buzz might become a leader in social networking.

  • http://www.creativewx.com Bournemouth web design

    I would say Google was the ultimate in sticky…

  • http://www.creativewrx.com Bournemouth web design

    I would say Google was the ultimate sticky experience…

  • Helle

    I want to concratzlate mark! But i don’t think you can compare Those two

    Gretinfs from europe

  • Dubai Passion

    Playing games on facebook site did the trick for them, don’t tell me catching up with old friends did it, Twitter, BlackBerry, Yahoo, MSN, icq, and so many other messengers do that trick, but just take a look how many people stay online just to play Xynga games on facebook site, exclude these and facebook returns to its normal size.

  • http://www.herbal-supplements-tricajus.com tricajus@healing-herbs

    I think FB is a great platform for searching long lost friends, colleagues, classmates, relatives, etc. One of my buddy just got in touch with one of his classmate since they left school 30 years ago. I discovered my former school has put up a facebook and I’m going to follow the footsteps of my buddy too. Isn’t this a great idea?

  • http://str82u.com Str82u

    My techno guy ego decided to turn my girlfriend on to Safari, Firefox AND Chrome, then she finds out she can log in to a different Facebook profile with each browser, and now she’s working as hard as I do and almost as long.

    Enough to slow a cable connection…you dig what I’m saying?

    So what is it, HITS, PAGE VIEWS, CLICK HERE _ NOW HERE _ ALMOST THERE_CAPTCHA_CAPTCHA_CAPTCHA _ SORRY, NOT WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR. They got those people running around, click click click. It’s simple, they keep people busy and the user THINKS they are busy. The mentality hurts my head, but then, those are my target audience, what can you do except watch your girlfriend and call it market study.

    Keep it Str8!

  • featherdj

    One big reason facebook got visited more then google.. they have a link on almost everything i get into such as sites, searches, ads, name brand sites…. one click and you have shared what you are on and facebook…. and then it is on your wall others see it and it spreads…
    Google reminds others that they are advertising and people dont trust those types of clicks.. but they trust facebook

    personally i dont trust it.. got too many links and emails with bad reputations on them such as farmville, some naked thing with facebook… and sex games and yes the movie clicks… and those generally have viruses associated with them…. I am on there but basically to see my family and friends that i generally talk to on messenger..

    • http://www.HireShane.com shane

      I do not trust facebook at all. I had been with them for several years and last month out of the blue without any notice they closed my account. I have called them and emailed them and they will not even give me an explanation as to why. I have spent thousands of hours on their site only for them to treat me like this? I have uploaded a ton of pictures and they have erased them and all of my work is now for nothing. I had over 1,500 friends on there and now have to start all over to contact them again. I would love to make contact with somebody that can give me some answers as to why facebook can play God and delete an account without any kind of action. I have done nothing wrong and do not feel that facebook treats people innocent until proven guilty. I love google much more than facebook.

      • http://ronaldredito.org/blog Ronald Redito

        I share the same experience as you Shane. A few days ago, my account was disabled out of the blue without even a warning or investigation.

        I received a reply just this morning that it was due to harassing case in any form. What the heck was that? So that would mean that I can just report anyone whose account I want to take down?

        Therefore, I can just make dummy/fake accounts to get even with people I am angry with? Or to bring down those people I suspect who is the culprit.

        That is very unfair. With this policy, more and more fake accounts will thrive that will lead to Facebook as a bad place to be in.

        And to think that social media especially Facebook is the main target of phishing syndicates. More and more malicious applications and software will soon bring this down.

        I might be bitter about their unfair treatment but I am sure, they will go down soon. I have researched that more and more people who share the same experience like us.

  • Guest

    I’ve got a facebook account, and have tried to find it useful. But it isn’t

    Google is

    Can’t see what the attraction of facebook is at all

    • Guest

      agree 100%… it’s like people don’t understand how to use the internet so they go to facebook.. I think it has been a migration of AOL users that want to experience the internet from inside a box.

  • http://www.livetrainingsession.com/training/photoshop.html Photoshop Training Online

    Judging by the graph shown I would wait a couple of months to see if the trend in Facebook visits will be maintained. For all I know Google’s traffic has been constant all along that’s a sign of visitors loyalty. Will this increase in Facebook’s traffic translate in real income boost or will Facebook be just another popular website, a hangout place for bored people. Facebook has yet to to tap into its financial potential and the more they wait the farther the opportunity will escape.

    • http://carvingsforyou.com jpittssr

      You got it right.
      Facebook is for bored people but I don’t see it generating a lot of income as a result of these people\I think most are out of work and bored.

  • http://bagoesnet.wordpress.com kamerad

    My country is Indonesia, Facebook is very popular in the appeal for good twitter.
    But whether FACEBOOK could generate income for them in the appeal twitter?

  • http://freemoneycommunity.blogspot.com andy

    I think right know facebook indeed the most successful social networking site in the world. But in case to beat Google as the most visited site, maybe not now. I still believe that Google is the most basic site that people all around the world use for many functions. Meanwhile facebook can only be use to communicate and networking with other social user for their own purpose.

  • http://719x.com Facebook is a Fad

    At one point, Myspace also passed Google. That was the peak, after that the traffic died down a lot.

    This is a sign that Facebook has reached the peak, within a year or two people will have moved on to something else.

  • Madhusudan

    Facebook is social networking. People are addicted to facebook because they use it as a means to stay in touch with their friends and associates. Google is a utility. You visit Google when you want to look for something. There is no comparison between the two.

    The popularity of facebook signifies the maturing of the internet into a means of communication, If anyone should be disturbed by the growth of facebook, it should be the telecoms firms and news channels. Facebook (and others like it) will increasingly replace both – phones and TV networks as a means for people to keep in touch with the world at large and with each other.

    And – Google, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Myspace, etc etc will destroy the domination of big media, big music and big movie corporations. That is a certainty in the foreseeable future.

  • http://twitter.com/librahitech Prathap G

    I am at a loss to understand why a comparison is required between Google and Facebook. Whereas Google is a source for information through a mere click, Facebook is a meeting place for people to engage in balderdash of the superior kind… This does not mean that I don’t like Facebook, and one can find me on Facebook – Prathapan Gopalan

  • http://www.symphonyoflove.net/blog BK

    It is no surprise as the number of account in Facebook continues to rise. Not to mention of the things people are doing in Facebook, Restaurant city, Farmville etc just to mention a few. Thus it is really a matter of time.

  • http://ronaldredito.org/blog Ronald Redito

    They might have beaten Google, but Facebook’s policy on disabling legitimate accounts like mine will get them in trouble one of these days.

    There are a lot of fake names/accounts, why don’t they disable those? Why disable my personal account that I use to communicate with friends, classmates and families?

    There are a lot of obvious accounts used for marketing, why don’t they disable those?

    Their unfair treatment of users and their baseless reasons will soon make people realize that there is still life without FB.

    I think I will get used to it by then.

  • http://www.bradburyac.mistral.co.uk Guest

    Gee, you guys must really be hard up for something to talk about if you regard this as being newsworthy. Do you really think it matters that one site got more hits than another when they aren’t even in competition?

    Sort of “never mind the quality – feel the width!”

    • Guest

      I don’t like facebook… it seems to me very unfriendly and unusefully…

    • http://www.sitebyjames.com James


      Technically it is news. A company name Hitwise published statistics which claim Facebook is more trafficked than Google.

      I don’t think it really means much…

      When I want to find something I go to a search engine.

      When I want to talk to somebody, well, I find someone who isn’t a complete and total loser wasting thier life away on “friend simulations”.

      Okay… so sue me… Twitter isn’t half bad, but facebook sucks…

    • Nick Polino

      I agree this is absolutely ridiculous. For one thing, if it did matter, this is a span of six days. Let’s see it get more traffic over a year or at least be ranked #1 on Alexa before we crown FB traffic king.

      As for this being a way “to illustrate that search is changing from traditional to a more social based platform” did you really need this to realize that Britt?

  • http://www.topdeck-travel.com Guest

    That is true but, not only in the USA but also in Africa Face book is the only place where I can find old folks since my primary school. its great, to mention but least. However Skype again is also another in the social net work that will soon face-out mobile technology due to its cheapness and reliability. its user friendly.

  • Heather

    Just curious! So if they are only 14% together, who are the other big wigs up there as far as site hits?

  • Roe

    How many visits it gets is completely irrelevant. You have to look at the way people interact with Google and Facebook.

    With Google, most people are using it only for search. Some use it for email, some for document sharing, some for Web analytics, etc., but ultimately their main product is search. Their recent attempt to break into the social mediasphere is simply pathetic and completely superfluous. They have to stop trying to reinvent the wheel and focus on areas where they are unique.

    I use Google every day at work, probably hundreds of times. How do they indicate how many times I “visit the site”? If I have Google set as my default search engine and I type a search query into the search box in my browser (as opposed to going to Google.com), is that considered a visit?

    On the other hand, I almost always have a window or tab open for Facebook, either for the work account or my personal account. If it’s the latter, I typically close this window 5-20 times a day so I don’t get sucked in and sacrifice productivity (or so I don’t get caught Facebooking!). Does it count as a visit every time I go BACK to my main Facebook page? Or does it only count if I log in freshly? Or does it count every time I go to Facebook.com, whether I log in or not?

    Now as far as the amount of activities I actually perform on either site, Facebook takes the cake. I email with Google, search with Google (sometimes) and occasionally run an analytics report. But that is mostly it.

    With Facebook on the other hand, I’m typing status updates (LOTS of status updates), talking with friends, emailing friends, looking at photos, promoting events, sharing links and news, taking quizzes, bitching about politics, and any other number of things that can be deemed “social” — that is, things which I wouldn’t be doing if others weren’t around to see it and respond to it.

    In that sense looking at a site’s “usage” would be way better than looking at how often it is visited. A visit means jackshit if you’re not using any features.

  • AK

    How can you ever compare an absolutely world class service like Google to something like FaceBook which is just a one dimension product? The two are totally different in their usages and perspective.

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