Facebook overtakes Google

TakeAway: What once seemed improbable became inevitable in 2010: Facebook is more popular than Google.

While search engines like Google aren’t going away anytime soon, Facebook will become more than a secondary component of many marketing strategies.

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Excerpted from Washington Post, “Facebook passes Google as most popular site on the Internet, two measures show,” by Ylan Mui and Peter Whoriskey, December 28, 2010

This may go down as the year that social networking trumped searching as America’s favorite online pastime.

In 2010, Facebook pushed past Google to become the most popular site on the Internet for the first time … It … marks another milestone in the ongoing shift in the way Americans spend their time online, a social change that profoundly alters how people get news and interact with one another …

According to Experian Hitwise, Facebook jumped to the top spot after spending last year in third place and the year before ranked ninth. The company found that 8.9 percent of unique online visits were to Facebook this year, compared with Google’s 7.2 percent. Meanwhile, ComScore, another firm that calculates Web traffic, said Facebook is on track in 2010 to surpass Google for the first time in number of pages viewed. Each unique visit to a site can result in multiple page views. …

Consumers use Google to get to other places, but they log on to Facebook to stay. That helped Facebook account for roughly a quarter of online page views in November, significantly outpacing Google, Hitwise said.

But there is one key area in which Facebook has yet to surpass Google: revenue. The search giant recorded nearly $24 billion in sales this year. Several news reports put Facebook’s revenue at $800 million in 2009, and the company is expected to bring in about a billion dollars this year – though how profitable Facebook is remains in question. …

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