Facebook vs Google for searching

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Where do you go for searching the web? Where do you end up?

The answer might not be exactly what you’d assume. Because Facebook is actually overtaking Google using some measures. Experian Hitwise saw the social network surpass the search engine for market share in March.

We’ve reported on this a number of times in the past. For the week over the New Year, Facebook beat Google Search to become the number one online destination – following a 185% increase over 12 months.

More than one in eight web visits are to one of the two main players.

Use of social networks and search engines in the US roughly reflects use in the UK. But the same isn’t true around the world. Facebook doesn’t even feature in the top 500 websites in China, for example, where the biggest search engine is Baidu (the world’s 7th largest website by visits, according to Alexa).

Tencent QQ (or QQ for short) has is China’s largest free IM platform. Alexa ranks it 10th in the world, by QQ claim they have 850m users (compared to Facebook’s 400m). This seems unlikely, since the total online audience in China is just 360m.

In Indonesia, Facebook is already number one, and I suspect that this trend will continue. Why? Because as more information that can answer our daily questions is uploaded to Facebook by our peers, so the recommendations for a restaurant nearby, garage, book to read or pancake recipe become more attractive to us than a more random search through Google.