Facebook and Google — reality check

Published March 3, 2010

I read the following in a morning news brief, and I thought, “Doesn’t the writer see the glaring error in his logic?” (Edit: Original source here.)

Facebook was the most visited Web site in the U.S. during the week ending March 13, surpassing Google for an entire week for the first time, online metrics firm Hitwise said.

Facebook had previously been able to attract more visitors than Google on Christmas and New Year’s Day, as well as the weekend of March 6, said Heather Dougherty, director of research at Hitwise, in a blog post.

What’s wrong with this? Simple: It assumes that you have to go to Google to use Google. And that’s simply imagenot true. All the major Web browsers — Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Opera — have an integrated search bar.

To use Facebook, on the other hand, you have to go to Facebook.com. So 100% of Facebook users are on its site, while significantly fewer Google users ever need to go to Google.com.

But it makes good press, doesn’t it?

  1. tommy says:

    so it’s less impressive in one way, and more in another. how are the stats gathered? are the google numbers inclusive of visits from the browsers’ default search function? do visits include those users who are hitting the site via apps on their smart phones? google maps? gmail?

  2. Dan Radmacher says:

    Someone’s got a problem with logic, but it ain’t the writer of the piece you reference, Andrew. What happens when you use a Google search bar? It takes you to a results page – on Google.com, of course.

    Hope you’re doing well, Andrew.

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