Is Facebook Getting Bigger Than Google?

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We wanted to share this Mashable article:

Is Facebook Getting Bigger Than Google?

by Jolie O’Dell, Wednesday, June 9, 2010

According to the analysts at Hitwise, social networks in general are more popular than search engines in some parts of the world.

In fact, networks such as Facebook have been pushing hard against the biggest names in web search, including Google, for several months now. As Hitwise reported recently, Facebook’s overall web traffic pulled ahead of Google’s for the first time in the U.S. in March of this year.

Now, we’ve learned that in the UK, people are visiting social networks more than they’re visiting search engines. Facebook dominates the current crop of social networks, accounting for the majority (55%) of all social site visits. When compared to the wider web, Google gets around 9.3% of all web traffic, while Facebook captures just over 7%.

But when UK stats for all search engines were stacked up with data from all social sites, social networks attracted .55% more traffic than search engines. This is a first-time occurrence, but as you can see from the charts below, it’s a trend that’s likely just starting to take off.

Compare that graph with these long-term stats from Alexa showing global page views for Facebook and Google; we can clearly see that at least one social network is on the rise.

While social networks such as Facebook don’t pose an immediate threat to search engines for their core functionality — organizing the web and helping people find content — they do pose a large threat to search engines’ largest revenue source, advertising.

If you were Google, would these kinds of numbers be worrying to you? Do you think that search engines are, in some ways, on the decline? Or is Facebook’s meteoric rise simply changing the paradigm a bit more than we expected?

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