My research revealed some very interesting facts. First of all let me say, that in the US, Facebook accounts for a significantly higher percent of our total page views than in the UK. In the UK, Facebook accounts for 15% of the total pageviews (or 1 in 7). In the US Facebook accounts for, now get this, 1 in every 4 or 25% of our total pageviews. Unbelievable!
Google on the other hand accounts for only 8% of the total pageviews (or 1 in 12). See the figure below that I generated using data from compete.com.
Page Views: Google (blue) vs. Facebook (green)
Is this surprising? Not really. Facebook is, by design, much more engaging. So we should expect this fact.
However, when we look at total number of visits to these two sites, we notice that Google does have an edge as the figure below shows. But, surprisingly, that edge is quickly slipping away. Ouch!
Visits: Google (blue) vs. Facebook (green)
Even for the metric "monthly unique visitors," we can see that Google is also losing its edge here as well.
Unique Monthly Visits: Google (blue) vs. Facebook (green)
Do you think Google is a bit concerned?
I would imagine so. And especially now that Facebook is finally out of the red and making some money. Think about it. They probably have more information on what we as a society are doing, saying, and into than anyone could possibly imagine. We post it all. Facebook has the potential to become a major search portal and source of relevant and timely information. Of course this is assuming that Facebook has the appropriate tools and people in place to mine that data and make it useful. But of course that is a topic for a future discussion.
To play with these figures and create your own data, simply go to http://www.compete.com/ and sign up for a free account.