Google is facing stiff competition from Facebook online, even as it topped the 1 billion unique visitor mark for May, said comScore. Microsoft is also coming on strong.
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) revealed
more than a year ago that it has more than 1 billion searches
a day and averages 1 billion searchers a week.
Now it can add 1 billion unique visitors per month to
that storied stat club. comScore revealed that Google's Websites, including its
search engine, YouTube video-sharing site and Gmail, lured more than a billion
unique visitors in May. That's up 8.4 percent from a year ago.
It is the first time an Internet company has hit that
benchmark, according to the researcher. See the report here
or this snapshot
on Search Engine Land
would be nice if it weren't for the fact that Google's rivals are growing their
online traffic, too. Microsoft, whose Bing search engine came on strong last
year, followed with 905 million unique visitors in May, good for growth of 15
meanwhile, saw its visitor count balloon to 714 million visitors, perhaps an
accurate reflection of its current user base. Facebook's year-to-year growth
was a remarkable 30 percent.
impressive (and scary, for Google) is Facebook's user engagement stat: comScore
said the social network's users logged 250 billion minutes worldwide in May, up 66 percent from May 2010.
In a June 15 blog post
, comScore said Facebook's average U.S. visitor engagement has grown
from 4.6 hours to 6.3 hours per month over the past year. Nielsen confirmed
the six-hour stat in its own research.
is next at 204 billion minutes, down 13.6 percent, while Google is third with 200
billion minutes, good for growth of 13 percent.
Facebook's ability to keep users logged in the walled
garden is the reason why Google is logically infusing its Web services with
This Web phenomenon is also the reason Google has been revving
up its mobile and display advertising efforts. The company acquired mobile ad
maker AdMob for $750 million last year and agreed to buy display ad player
Admeld last week.
Google has also
accelerated its YouTube efforts, adding thousands of streaming movie titles and
using Google TV as a new access point for YouTube and its display ads.
Near-term, Google has little to worry about. EMarketer said
Google will take 41 percent of all ad dollars, with Facebook netting 7 percent of U.S. online ad spending this year.
What Google is nervous about is that Facebook is getting
more users to stay online with its site longer, which means more users are
seeing more display ads on the network.
This generates more ad cash for Facebook and its
partners. Moreover, ad partners who would normally go to Google, Microsoft or
Yahoo for display ad placement now have Facebook as the optimal choice to
spread their message. This is why Google has been boosting social -- adding the +1 button
-- and why it's been fortifying its already strong ad