Why Facebook hasn’t overtaken Google in the UK?

Tuesday 23, March 2010


Why Facebook hasn’t overtaken Google in the UK?


Facebook reached an important milestone for the week ending March 13, 2010 as it surpassed Google in the US to become the most visited website for the week. reached the #1 ranking on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day as well as the weekend of March 6th and 7th. The market share of visits to increased 185% for the week ending March 13, as compared to the same week in 2009, while visits to increased 9% during the same time frame. Together and accounted for 14% of all US Internet visits for the week.


As a consequence of the interest in the American data, a number of people have asked Hitwise, what about the UK?


According to Robin Goad, research director, Hitwise UK, the answer is that Facebook is the second most visited website in the UK – and has been for a while now – but remains ahead of it. For the week ending March 13, picked up 9.34% of UK Internet visits, while Facebook accounted for 6.01%. In the US, the respective figures were 7.03% (for and 7.07%.


So, there are two main reasons why Facebook hasn’t yet caught up with Google in the UK (and doesn’t likely to do so in the foreseeable future), says Goad. Reasons:


  • Facebook has a very similar share of the social networking markets in both the UK and US (51.9% and 51.3%respectively last week), but social networking is slight more popular in the US, so Facebook’s share of all Internet visits is higher in there.
  • Google has a larger share of search market in the UK (over 90%) than in the US (just over 70%), and search engines as a category are also more popular on this side of the Atlantic.






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