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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Google Vs. Facebook

I was reading an article the other day that revealed Facebook in the UK accounts for 1 in every 7 pages viewed on the Internet. I thought wow, I knew Facebook was big but did not realize it was that big. Then I wondered what this statistic is in the US. And, does Facebook in the US account for more or less of total page views than it does in the UK? I had to find out.

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.



  1. Perry,

    That's very interesting data. I'm looking to get more information how determined that Facebook now accounts for 25% of U.S. pageviews. What's your methodology? Is the report available online?

  2. Perry, can you comment on the x-axis timeframe for these graphs? Can't really make out the dates that are printed there. Thanks

  3. I really like this blog, It's always nice when you can not only be informed, but also get knowledge, from these type of blog, nice entry. Thanks

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  4. I believe Google will always be unbeatable... even though Facebook comes closer in competition with Google, we must remember that Facebook is defined as a social network & Google is apparently a search engine. Therefore, both have altogether a different purpose.