Facebook topples Google as most visited site on the web


Facebook has overtaken Google as the most visited website in the US, keeping the search giant from top spot in the weekly ratings for the first time since 2007.

According to web analyst firm Hitwise, Facebook accounted for 7.07 per cent of all web visits in the US over the week ending on March 13, narrowly eclipsing Google's 7.03 per cent.

The social network came out on top on several individual days recently including Christmas Day and New Year's Day but never before has it held sway over a whole week.

"The market share of visits to Facebook.com increased 185 per cent last week as compared to the same week in 2009, while visits to Google.com increased nine per cent during the same time frame," Hitwise research director Heather Dougherty wrote in a blog post. "Together Facebook.com and Google.com accounted for 14 per cent of all US internet visits last week."

Facebook will no doubt see the latest Hitwise figures as evidence that its ongoing efforts to expand beyond core social networking functions are proving successful.

With more than 400 million users worldwide, the site has been proving increasingly successful in other areas, such as gaming, where third-party apps like farming simulation Farmville have been having a positive impact on traffic.

Facebook is also making inroads on search. According to analytics firm comScore, Facebook US search queries for February hit 436 million, significantly up on December's 351 million searches.

Google, meanwhile, has started listing Facebook status updates alongside Twitter posts in its search results as it looks to incorporate more social media into its real-time search tools.

However, anyone looking to use the latest figures as evidence of the increasing dumbing down of the internet might be surprised to hear that the last website to best Google over a whole week was also a social network MySpace back in September 2007.