Recent reports have stated that in the month of May, Google sites, including its search engine, Gmail and Youtube (which it acquired back in 2006), had 1 billion unique visitors in total. Having previously discussed the competition each search engine site faces to be the most popular and most-used, the figures distributed by ComScore, a company that compiles web data, show just how popular Google is.
Whilst it is good news for Google, particularly as it is the first time a search engine has hit this impressive 1 billion mark, the increasing figures of their rivals may cause a worry. Enjoying a growth of 15%, Microsoft, owner of Bing search engine, counted 905 million visitors in the same month. Why did more people use Google than Bing in May? Is there a multilingual aspect to its popularity? Even though Bing is also available in a vast number of languages, is it important that Google’s multilingual availability is much more well-known? I knew, for example, that www.google.es would take me to the Spanish homepage, whereas I had to investigate whether Bing offered a Spanish version. Given the importance of offering sites in various languages, the availability of multilingual sites can be a key factor in a site’s popularity and indeed success.
The number of users of a variety of sites was included in the data. In third place, following Google and Microsoft, Facebook had 714 million visitors in May, with the average US user spending 6.3 hours per month on the site, up from the 4.6 hours recorded last year. According to the research, users worldwide spent a whopping 250 billion minutes on Facebook in the month of May. Microsoft users spent 204 billion minutes on their sites, whilst Google follow swiftly behind with 200 billion minutes.
Data such as this emphasises the importance of communication online. Facebook is an important tool in the social media world, and can be used to convey a message to billions of people, either by advertising, creating a page, an event, or posting on the walls of others. Whilst Google and Facebook may be two different sites, their overlap in the world of communication means they must both work hard to stay ahead of the game. Only time will tell whether both sites can maintain their popularity or whether the increasing popularity of one will eventually culminate in the downfall of the other.
6 July 2011 09:36