In the news last week, I read a very interesting article in the Times about how facebook is the biggest rival to Google.
According to Hitwise, for the week ending March 13th, facebook got more traffic than Google in America. Who would have thought this social neworking site set up by Mark Zuckerberg would have achieved this milestone.
Facebook now has more than 400million active users which makes it the third most populous “country” behind India and China. In the UK, it has more than 23million users, or a third of the population. The speed at which facebook is growing is staggering. Visits to facebook has increased 185% in the last year and Google’s number of visits has increased by 9%
There is a threat to Google, called “discovery” which is the finding of products/services on facebook that has been recommended by friends. More people will go onto facebook and search for products and reviews from their friends and peers instead of searching on Google. However, this information within facebook cannot be seen by Google as customers have to sign in to their account.
Social media is changing the search landscape. More people will be using social networking sites to find out news and information. Even Google wanted to get onto the social media band wagon with “buzz” but it failed to have made any headway in that area. People spend a lot of time on social media sites. According to Nielsen, facebook is the third most visited site with 2.5billion hits in February 2010 which is close to Yahoo’s 2.7 billion and Google’s 3billion. So Google better watch out, it doesn’t want to lose its position as the number 1 search engine.