Los Angeles — The end-of-year backslapping continues today following latest statistics from Experian Hitwise which revealed that 2010 has witnessed social networking phenomenon Facebook officially usurp search engine behemoth Google as the most-visited Web site in the United States between January to November 2010, sucking up 8.93 percent of all Web traffic during that time, passing Google’s search page for the first time.
For the second consecutive year in a row, “Facebook” was the popular search phrase among the U.S. Internet users between January and November, followed by a range of mostly navigational search terms: facebook login, youtube, craigslist, myspace, facebook.com, ebay, yahoo, www.facebook.com, and mapquest.
These search phrases accounted for 2.11% of all searches, according to Hitwise. In other words, iterations of Facebook captured four of the top 10 spots, according to the traffic company’s annual survey of search queries. Even more impressive is the fact that three other variations of Facebook made it into the top ten: “facebook login” at #2, “facebook.com” at #6 and “www.facebook.com” at #9. Combined, they accounted for 3.48% of all searches, a 207% increase from Facebook’s position last year.
Overall, Google.com captured 7.19 percent of Web visits over the same period, while Yahoo Mail obtained third with 3.52 percent, Yahoo.com was fourth with 3.30 percent, and YouTube came in fifth with 2.65 percent.
Furthermore, Hitwise discovered that social network-related terms dominated the results for most-searched terms in the U.S., accounting for 4.18 percent of the top 50 searches. Finally, rounding off the list of top search terms were YouTube, Craigslist, MySpace, eBay, Yahoo and Mapquest.
Some new search terms in the top 50, according to Hitwise, included: Netflix, Verizon Wireless, ESPN, Chase, Pogo, Tagged, Wells Fargo, Yellow Pages, Poptropica, and Hulu. The search term “games” also made its first appearance in the list of Hitwise’s top 50 search terms.
Hitwise also stated that Facebook crossed Google in monthly visitors back in March, but this is the first time that year-end statistics have favored the social networking site. Interestingly though is Facebook’s climbing to #1 on Hitwise’s list of most-visited websites.
In a bit of irony that must make Google crazy, Google is actually driving lots of users to its hottest competitor. Although Google.com appears to have finally succumbed to the rise and rise of Facebook, it is perhaps worth noting that Google’s traffic percentage increases to 9.85 percent after adding together all of its contributing services and properties.
But lest you think Web users have gotten less tabloid-y, here is the juicy stuff: Taking a closer look at other categories explored by Hitwise, Kim Kardashian has become 2010’s most searched for celebrity, while Lady Gaga was the most searched for music star, Star Wars was the most searched for movie, and Dancing with the Stars was the most searched for TV show, apart from these top people searches this year, are: Oprah, Rush Limbaugh, Miley Cyrus, and Glenn Beck.
These statistics are not an airtight victory for Facebook, however, it is only a matter of time until Facebook knocks down the entire Google empire, though.