In 2010, One Site Ruled Them All: Facebook

Facebook ruled the Internet in 2010. It was both the most-searched term -- accounting for 2.11% of all searches -- and the top-visited website, attracting 8.93% of all U.S. visits, compared to Google's 7.19%. Online research firm Experian Hitwise, which compiled this data, based its study on the first 11 months of the year.

Variations of the social media network's name were among the top-searched terms as well, including "Facebook login," which came in second place. Hitwise also reports that other online destinations were high on the list of searches: YouTube, craigslist and MySpace.

Kim Kardashian was the top "people search" within the personalities category, Lady Gaga was the top artist search within the music category and the top searched-for athlete was Tiger Woods.

The most important finding in the research was that "the combination of Google properties accounted for 9.85% of all U.S. visits. Facebook properties accounted for 8.93%, and Yahoo! properties accounted for 8.12%."

The data should concern both search engine companies and major online portals. Facebook not only did well in the Hitwise study but it has also quickly moved up the list of most-visited websites based on unique visitors in the U.S., according to Comscore data. November measurements show Facebook in the No. 4 spot, with 151.7 million unique visitors. That put it just behind Microsoft's (MSFT) sites. Facebook's growth could push it past Google (GOOG) sites next year into the top position.

Facebook also dominates the display advertising business in the U.S., with about 25% of all display ads served on Facebook pages. However, another report found the email still does much better than Facebook as a tool for retailers to get shoppers into their stores.

The ubiquity of Facebook among online users seems to confirm predictions that it will eclipse Google as the most important website in the U.S. Facebook's rising domination of the Internet not only means it's winning the hearts and minds of Web surfers -- it means traditional destinations are quickly losing their hold.

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Facebook is far from perfect, but it as still useful as a means to communicate with family and friends, to find people from one's past, and to research topics of interest, such as shows, authors, performers and similar areas by connecting with persons of similar information desires or knowledge. It is also very valuable in sharing topics with many such as albums of pictures.

January 02 2011 at 9:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Its funny I seem to have survived very well without wasting my time on facebook.You see I have a real life with people in person,call me old fashioned or eccentric.

December 30 2010 at 10:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Facebook don't control what is said very well. Even in my own family facebook has been used to gossip and also swear at other relatives, even to the point of threats. I don't use facebook too much now, I can well use my time on other research web pages.

December 30 2010 at 12:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why on earth would you search for 'facebook'? Are people to lazy to stick a www in front and a .com behind? And which search engine were people using to search for that elusive facebook? It wouldn't be the same search engine that apparently isn't as popular as facebook now would it.

December 30 2010 at 8:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply