Web metrics firm, HitWise, says social networking site Facebook has now surpassed Google in the category of site visits. According to HitWise, Facebook reached what it called "an important milestone" for the week of 13 March when it became the most visited Web site in the US edging out Google for the week.
HitWise said Facebook previously reached the top rank for US site traffic on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and some other days but failed to sustain its position for an entire week until now.
According to the firm, Facebook accounted for 7.07 per cent of all US Internet visits last week, while Google trailed marginally at 7.03 per cent.
Market analysts now surmise that Facebook's heavily criticized redesigns and privacy feature changes, far from stunting its growth, would actually have helped boost it, thanks to the intense media scrutiny and publicity it generated.
HitWise also said that even as Google's traffic remained steady over the past year, Facebook's Web traffic has jumped 185 per cent compared to the same week one year ago. Market analysts say it would be reasonable to assume that Facebook's traffic will continue to grow and as a result help it sustain its position as the most visited US Web site for the foreseeable future.
HitWise's report also today dismisses speculation that its altered privacy controls and frequent design tweaks of late may have turned off users. Despite a flood of criticism from users over the new privacy settings the site appears to be as popular as ever.
With larger traffic, Facebook may now be working itself into a position where it could challenge Google's dominance in Web advertising revenue.