Sunday, December 26, 2010

FaceBook Passing Google in UK Traffic Count

For the first time FaceBook may have passed Google in traffic on Christmas day in the UK. Hitwise reports that over half the traffic came from FaceBook during the holidays and when the final numbers are counted up FaceBook may have generated more traffic than even Google on Christmas day.

That's an amazing number when you consider that it means that FaceBook is now pushing the combined traffic of not only Google search but YouTube and all it's video content plus all the traffic Google has for it's online apps and it's Gmail traffic into second place.

Of course I'm sure that those FaceBook traffic numbers include a lot of YouTube video content that is watched as embedded video content on FaceBook. But still it's amazing to think that one site could be the center of the web when it comes to traffic generated and yet it produces none of it's own content.

That is the real power of FaceBook when it comes to being a site to envy. It produces those numbers based on your pictures, your contacts with friends and family, your posts and comments on other FaceBook pages, and of course those games like Farmville.

Anyway you get the picture. FaceBook is on top as a destination site and controls much of the traffic on the web yet produces nothing beyond providing a meeting and exchange place. They have the best of both worlds traffic and no cost to create it.

It will be interesting to see how they manage to hold on to number one and continue to grow when they are so high on the mountain. My guess is that they will as least slow down on numbers growth soon and it remains to be seen what effect such a slow down will have on the public's perception of their worth.

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Hitwise Finds Visits To Social Networks Surging

Out of a desire to say "hi" to old friends, reconnect with family members, or perhaps get a moment away from visiting relatives, it looks like lots of people are signing into social networks this month.  Indeed, Hitwise relayed some UK-specific stats today, and the increase has been sharp enough that Facebook might top Google in traffic on Christmas.

We'll head straight into the data so that you can head straight back to poking acquaintances.  Robin Goad reported, "As we get closer to Christmas Day visits to social networking sites have reached a new peak for the year, accounting for nearly 13.5% of all UK Internet visits.  In the last week alone there has been a huge uplift in traffic, with visits increasing by 9.7% from 14 to 21 December."

Next, Goad noted, "More than half of the traffic is being driven by Facebook.  The biggest social site in the world accounted for 57% of all visits to the social networking category in the UK last week and over the Christmas period could create history if it overtakes Google in overall market share online."

That scenario isn't at all far-fetched, by the way; here's a graph of what occurred last year:

It should be interesting to see how the situation turns out in 2010.  Advertisers are sure to keep a close eye on things.


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