Traffic stats again put social network ahead of search giant
By Doug Caverly
As Face book employees went back to work this week, they may have been smiling more (or at least less frowning less) than most other people returning from vacation. Their site performed admirably over the holidays, actually attracting record-breaking amounts of traffic.
On Tuesday, we documented the fact that Facebook received more traffic than Google on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. That made it the most visited U.S. site for the first time ever.
This afternoon, Hitwise's Bill Tancer provided some more data. He wrote, "Facebook was able, albeit by a slighter margin, to recapture the #1 position on Friday, New Year's Day." Tancer also created the graph you see below.
Obviously, it doesn't look like Face book's destined to attract more individuals than Google on a permanent basis. Still, the social network's done quite well over the last couple of weeks, closing the gap that somehow opened up during the first half of December.
This repeat occurrence of Face book beating Google on a holiday also creates the question of how often it'll do so in the future. Will a switcheroo occur on Valentine's Day? St. Patrick's Day? No Housework Day? We'll see.
Facebook Hits #1 on Christmas and New Year's Day
January 04, 2010
The main Google page has been ranked the most visited site on a daily basis for U.S. Internet users. That statement has held true for 364 days of 2009. Google's dominance of "all category" visits was disrupted when Facebook visits surged on Christmas Day. Facebook was able, albeit by a slighter margin, to recapture the #1 position on Friday, New Year's Day. Here's a chart showing market share of visits (U.S.) to the Two domains over the last two months.
Its interesting to note that Facebook's two #1 days both occurred on major holidays. Is there something about holidays that might cause social networking to trump search as the most popular online activity? One possible explanation might be that being home for the holidays might also mean being physically separated from one's social group, leading to greater virtual contact.
Another Interesting stat to close out 2009 is the most searched on terms across all major search engines in the U.S. for the year.
Here's the list:
Top 10 Search Terms (U.S.) for 2009:
5. Yahoo Mail
9. Facebook login
Source: Experian Hitwise
Along with its surge in visits, "Facebook" captured the #1 spot for most searched on term. In 2008 "MySpace" held the top spot, with Facebook in the #10 position. I still get a kick out of seeing "Google" in the search term list. Over the last four weeks 64% of "Google" searches were executed on Yahoo! Search and Bing, while 29% were executed on Google itself. I often wonder why anyone would Google "Google" on Google. I'm interested to hear your hypothesis.