Facebook Traffic Passes Google

22 03 2010

Current numbers from Hitwise show that traffic on Facebook.com has surpassed traffic on Google.com  What is interesting is that this is a trend that is likely to continue, not just a one-off.

  • Facebook traffic is up 185% year over year.
  • Google traffic is up only 9% year over year.

So, what does all of this mean?

  • To put it in perspective, this is just Google.com, not all of the Google properties such as YouTube, Picassa, and Google News for example.
  • Still, the trend does point out the importance of social media.  The Internet is moving from a publishing platform to a vast multi-way conversation.  We are way past “fad” and well into” game-changing.”
  • The trend is clear (see graph).  Social media is growth is going to continue to outpace traditional search.
  • Much has been written about how important it is for search engines to be able to search for realtime information within a social media context as well as on the Web and it is happening.  The graph shows why.

But wait. There’s More: Not only is Facebook surpassing Google.com in traffic, another recent Hitwise study shows that Facebook users have a higher return rate than Google News.

There has been some suggestion that Facebook is becoming an important news reader.  I don’t think the studies I have seen so far can tell us how many of Facebook’s users are visiting for news, but it is interesting to note how the site has generated strong loyalty as measured by return readers.

Will social media as a news source disrupt Internet news the way Internet news has disrupted print news?  It is worth watching.

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