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|Stunning FaceBook 3% More Web Visits and 5x More Pageviews Than Google|
According to data from analysis and intelligence firm Hitwise, Facebook’s year-over-year growth has been phenomenal. We reported in June that the social network was set to eclipse Google in web traffic; now, Hitwise is showing that in the past week, Facebook.com saw 3% more web visits and almost five times more pageviews than Google.com.
By these metrics, Facebook is by far the single most popular website in the United States. Still, other sources with other measurements and criteria show some variance.
The company has been growing at a breakneck pace all year. It announced that its network had reached the extraordinary milestone of 500 million members in July. And at Web. 2.0 Summit this week, CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the audience that half of those members visit Facebook on a daily basis.
...for me FB is by far the most successful local advertising plattform, if you mix offline with online it really can work on FB...
aren't a lot of those facebook buttons that people have on their sites iframes?
presumabely that means everytime someone visits their site a pageview gets logged for facebook too. so maybe those stats aren't as good as they look.
just had a quick look at facebook's page which tells you how to implement the buttons. it says "There are two Like button implementations: XFBML and Iframe".
i bet you any money that is why they've got so many pageviews.
just thinking off the top of my head i remember that lots of newspaper sites have like buttons under all their stories. every time someone reads one of those, facebook's stats go up.]
Interesting point londrum. Not sure if that comes into play. Even so the fact that all these sites are using the like buttons says a lot about their reach.
Interestingly we pulled the like buttons for performance reasons. Tiny little button caused our page load times to shoot up. And no one was using it.
I have used Facebook Ads for amazon like items, services and event organizing.
- Items => Zero Sales over a month
(A good of number sales from Google for the same budget)
- Services => Zero requests
(We did very well for visitors from twitter and Google)
- Events we organized - this is where we did quite well on Facebook
Almost all of the visitors for an add free website I setup last year used to originate from Facebook and didn't use Facebook Ads at any point. That has become quite popular for the targeted group of people.
Google is starting to pay more attention to this and realize that Microsoft isn't the competition, it's FB.
I am not so sure. At the end of this year I will have paid Google 30,000 EUR for advertising. Facebook: 0
Facebook has some value for companies - but it surely is not buying adspace - at least for most of them.
It's funny that any mention of Facebook stats are hyper analyzed, deried and eventually dismissed as irrelevant, yet Google stats are worshiped as if heavenly manna.
Facts are that FB is gaining strongly on all Google properties for eyeballs and stickiness regardless what you think the worthiness of the FB meme.
My opinion is that the aging webmaster demographic -- born and bred on Google for exposure and income has a developed a cultural blind spot to this emerging trend which now has amassed more than 600 million users.
There are more than 200 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices yet that is not important?
FB users don't click ads like Google Adsense, they respond to discussions with links to the product. The old, lazy way of converting is changing as the younger generation has developed a blind eye to Google-Ad type displays.
143,583,400 active FB users are Americans.
|My opinion is that the aging webmaster demographic -- born and bred on Google for exposure and income has a developed a cultural blind spot to this emerging trend which now has amassed more than 600 million users. |
If we aging webmasters don't understand FB's value, it would be great if you could try and teach some of us old dogs new tricks. You might be right, maybe I was using the internet while you were still in diapers (pampers, sorry - I had the cloth ones...). But I can explain why I think Google (or any search engine) is far more valuable than FB using a simple analogy.
Advertising on FB is like walking up to someone on the street and asking them if they would like to buy a widget. It's pretty random. After a short time, the people walking on the street get sick of these random questions and they start ignoring them.
It's very similar to the way people flip channels on TV when a commercial comes on.
Advertising on a search engine is like someone walking up to you and asking you where they can buy a widget. In many cases, the response is helpful - just what that person was looking for.
I've spent tens of thousands of my own money learning these advertising lessons, they were painful.
I've yet to hear a compelling reason to advertise on FB other than the fact they have 600 million users. So what? Those page views are no more effective than radio or television (less so in some ways).
BTW - large companies are starting to block employees from FB, that's not a good long-term trend.
Really depends on what you are selling as to whether Facebook advertising will work. Not difficult with some simple demographic research.
Think young, hip crowd who don't want their father's automobiles. Established businesses trying to market to a younger generation is a difficult and expensive endeavor. Pepsi was able to pull it off well, I guess.
Sure, there are all ages and kinds on Facebook, but the ones who have a live wire on the mobile and post every 5 seconds are younger and have more time and are in a stage of life where fitting in with peers is important.
You can't market with reputation, "in business since 1953", family items, luxury goods.
@BillyS Check my join date, I was posting here about the web 2 years before you arrived.
The one thing I learned in life is -- adapt, overcome, modify.
If you had experience with marketing, you would realize that companies try to expose their products to the 18-34 demographic as they have not locked in their personal preferences for brands.
By ignoring this market and to act utterly dismissive of it, you undercut your future market.
Any you are right, the old lazy method of just slopping up ads on FB is out-modded and no wonder it does not work. Younger audiences are more sophisticated web users compared to their parents. They have been trained by dealing with useless spammy ads to ignore them.
You actually have to be creative to convert sales.
[edited by: frontpage at 8:17 pm (utc) on Nov 21, 2010]
As Billy noted, it's pull vs. push. When I advertise on or target Google, the people are coming to me looking. It's like being in the yellow pages under Pizza - someone wants a pizza they open up the phone book and go to pizzas and start dialing.Every page view is someone looking for a pizza.
Advertising on facebook, the people aren't there looking for my product. It's like a billboard ad for pizza. 500,000 commuters might look at it and only 10 people might think they want a pizza, now that they've benn given the suggestions. With facebook,you're paying for the 499990 pageviews for people that have no interest in pizza.
I'm enjoying reading the healthy discussion of this thread. Based on what members have posted so far it's painting quite a clear picture -- user intention. I've stated elsewhere that I am anti social media marketing, but not anti social media. And I am pro-marketing when it is done respectfully. Shoving ads in people's faces when they visit a site for emotional reasons is not respectful.
Intention here is crystal clear. People go to face book to keep in touch with loved ones, family, relatives, friends, or to stoke their egos to find out how many people are loving them. Their intention is "checking in", not "in purchase mode".
People who go to search engines often have intent to purchase and are researching their product or service for best source of value so of course they are more receptive to suggestive ads. I hope that advertisers continue to loose massive amounts of money in Facebook ads because they shouldn't be in those people's faces (pun intended) anyway.
[edited by: tedster at 10:05 pm (utc) on Nov 21, 2010]
[edit reason] member request to clarify meaning [/edit]
|"Their intention is "checking in", not "in purchase mode" |
I find the same is true of Google, (and have done split testing to back it up). If someone goes to Google for "information" or "research" they are not "in purchase mode", even if they are researching for a (future) purchase. When researching they are most likely to click organic result looking for reviews, comparisons, product specs, etc.
When they are ready to buy they click (Adwords) ads.
More interesting maybe is the fact that a visitor arriving at an ecommerce site is 3 times as likely to buy if they arrived at the site by clicking an ad than if they came from an organic SERP click.
This is NOT true of "big brands", e.g.- someone looking for "BRAND-X" will follow an organic SERP link and buy if the domain name is (WWW.)BRAND-X(.COM) -- which should be #1 in the SERPs.
I 100% agree that people are not shopping, reviewing or researching [purchases] on Facebook -- and about the only thing you could sell are computer games, music or other pop-trend purchases. About all FB advertising is good for are branding campaign -- and even then, the limited design options for their ads do not let an advertiser create ads that are consistent with other forms of online advertising.
|I know people that are completely hooked on facebook. To them, it's almost like their entire purpose on earth hinges on the activity of their facebook account. |
I've been completely turned off by my 40-something divorced sister-in-law that acts like she's in high school, and spends most of her day checking her facebook account. It's like everyone wants a second chance at being in the popular crowd in high school.
God help us. Some folks there have more than 500 "friends." They need, instead, to get a real life instead of virtual reality, and that isn't even real.
I don't give a hoot whether or not it's good for advertising. I give a hoot about people who use Facebook instead of having a life. According to reports I've read, young mothers at home with children are particularly vulnerable.
That's great news, now we can focus our marketing efforts to the other 75% of grown-up page views that really matter and forget about the brainless facebookers, way to go facebook!
|That's great news, now we can focus our marketing efforts to the other 75% of grown-up page views that really matter and forget about the brainless facebookers, way to go facebook! |
That's too funny...
BTW - I'm not completely out of it. I can understand at least two forms of advertising on FB.
1 - "Social" events in very specific geographies.
2 - Brand advertising - such as the Pepsi example given earlier. Do they allow alcohol ads too? That works for me. ;)
|Some folks there have more than 500 "friends." They need, instead, to get a real life instead of virtual reality, and that isn't even real. |
People have different perceptions of "having a life", right or wrong. I could spend a whole sunny weekend at my PC doing stuff I enjoy and be happy, but be slightly less happy if I were hiking through some beautiful mountains. On paper, the latter is supposed to be better for you.
Similarly, there is a whole market of trashy print publications that exist because a lot of people want them, even if they don't have "a life" in the classical sense. FB appeals to this market, but the sweetener is that FB users include one's family, so the reach is greater.
As marketers, it is useful to discuss how FB can be used to benefit a business. For instance, Farmville has no personal appeal to me, but I'm willing to check it out if it helps me to find out if it can help to market a business.
I am presently consulting to a bank and we know that people don't talk about credit cards, bank accounts or personal debt when they use social networks, so my challenge is to find a proxy subject that they will talk about.
buying mode vs entertainment mode is really no rocket science. the news that social networks like facebook utterly underperform in selling products for their advertising partners is out for years. they know it, we know it.
it reminds one a bit of yahoo before google stepped into the market. until then, the sales team managed to sell ad spaces on their web portal for horrendous prices. but the problem for facebook is, now that google is there, you already have the comparison. you know the perfomance indicators. too bad for them.
so what will facebook do? a strong advertising sales team would certainly help to convince businesses on the short-run to continue trying their luck and sink thousands of dollars each into the network. until everyone has their fingers burnt. secondly, the fact that meanwhile a huge consulting industry has built around social media marketing will also contribute. but after that?
What I have noticed with regards to successful advertising on facebook is that small businesses have success by treating facebook the same way they would treat real world social interactions. Meet new people, get to know them a little and say "by the way, this is my business, you should come by". People are more willing to do business with someone they have a connection to. It's a great tool for the mom and pop businesses.
As a facebook user I don't find myself clicking the ads unless there is content, such as a movie preview or something of that nature. The branding itself does burn into my mind quite often though.
As far as my own marketing goes, I run a few facebook pages, I haven't had a lot of measurable success with those other than a little bit of interaction with my audience. I do use a like button for each page of my website content. I might only get a handful of likes each day but the way I see it, the more my content is shared, the more people will be inclined to link my content. I had marginal success by posting a sale I was running to my personal fb account but the amount of work I put into it wasn't worth the benefits.
My view of facebook marketing right now is that it's best to treat the social network as a social interaction in the real world and it is good for branding in general. As far as direct sales though I haven't seen much to get excited over yet.
I think Wheel hit the nail on the head perfectly...
And that is exactly how I see ads when I am on Facebook. It would take something seriously cool for me to divert my mouse away from the main content area but that's not to say I wouldn't see it.
If you're interested, check out the film 'Social Network' which is based on the story of Facebook. They talk briefly about making money from Facebook but as they correctly point out, if you cover it in ads then you lose the 'cool'.
|Some folks there have more than 500 "friends." |
Facebook calls them 'friends' but I think the majority of people that use Facebook would use the term contacts/people I know or like.
|They need, instead, to get a real life instead of virtual reality |
I think you're massively out-of-touch. The Facebook users I know aren't sat in a darkened room wearing virtual reality headsets and motion sensitive gloves. They're watching TV, at a shopping mall, sat in a taxi even having a romantic dinner with their partner etc, which is why I think viggen is having success with FB...
|FB is by far the most successful local advertising plattform, if you mix offline with online it really can work on FB |
In its current form, FB simply isn't suited to the vast majority of products and services.
I know a chap who works in advertising selling space on facebook, does quite well at it too. He says the whole point really is it all depends on how much information a person puts about themselves on facebook. You can find audiences for age, sex, jobs, hobbies etc and that's kind of what he's in the business of selling. Farmville is absolutely huge. The money it makes is insane.
The thing that bothers me most about FB, is that I'm seeing tv ads with the last shot having their FB link and not their own website. And that's for major brands.
There's plenty of examples of FB going wrong as it gives everybody and anybody a platform to talk very badly about your brand in real time. This can be managed ofcourse but it can be incredibly damaging if left unmonitored or reacted badly to.
Personally I don't think it would be good for actually selling but good for brand awareness. So more marketing than sales and really FB is then only a platform for offline marketing strategies.
For example, did anyone see that Newport parady of the JZ song? It got over a million hits in such a short space of time and was done by a media company. Most people would have missed that last fact but people in the industry would have picked up on it and it would be a huge thing to say to prospective clients that you'd done it.
Or say you do an awesome tv ad and put it on there with a 'like' kerjigger and that goes viral. You'd be reaching a lot of people on the basis that they liked it and are recommending it rather than hoping people are watching the tele when it's on. Word of mouth 2.0
|God help us. Some folks there have more than 500 "friends." They need, instead, to get a real life instead of virtual reality, and that isn't even real. |
While I have the same mindset as you, who cares how people spend their time? There are no set guidelines for "getting a life", and if there were then life would be pretty boring. I bet there are people who think posting on a webmaster forum is weird and anyone who does so should "get a life". Don't bash what others do because you don't understand it.
|Facebook has some value for companies - but it surely is not buying adspace - at least for most of them. |
The game is constantly changing. I could argue that ad blindless increases every year and AdSense won't be around forever. I could also argue that Facebook will start their own search and cut Google out of the picture. As long as Facebook stays profitable, having control over so many committed visitors can only be considered a great thing for them, and very bad for competing companies.
|I could also argue that Facebook will start their own search and cut Google out of the picture. |
When that happens, facebook will likely have my search business. Because then they'll be delivering targetted, interested traffic. Until then, they're delivering brand recognition instead of buying visitors - and I need buying visitors.
Most seem to miss the point about FB marketing, but a few have hit the nail on the head. FB is about branding - building your list, increasing your reach, boosting your reputation. FB is never going to deliver the best ROI on sales but it can and should boost your existing sales.
We're not missing the point. In none of those did you mention the word 'sales'. If you're Amazon, maybe you care about branding. For the rest of us who still care about direct return, all FB offers is 'poor returns'.
|grelmar: Microsoft isn't the competition, it's FB |
tedster: It all depends on how big your definition of the game is. MS is still the competition for search, but if the game is defined as eyeballs for ad money...
Hmm, let's see there....Google's revenue on a quarter apparently of Facebook's traffic - $23.6 Billion dollars (2009). Microsoft's revenue - $14.5 Billion in quarter 1 2010 (makes it $58 Billion/year).
For both companies 35%-40% PROFIT is a normal number.
Facebook's revenue - $800 million, Facebook's profit? Drumroll........
oh, private company don't disclose exact numbers..
but according to sources - in tens of millions of dollars.
TENS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS.
We are talking about 1/1000 of Google's or MS.
I am sure Google is shaking in their boots.
|I am sure Google is shaking in their boots. |
They will be if/when FB figures out how to drive targetted traffic. I bet they're having meetings on it.
If FB *does* figure out how to do that, Google's dead, fast.
@aleksl, I think FB's revenue is supposed to be approaching $1B IIRC. Definitely not in the tens of millions.
But yes, I see your point. FB is still very far behind in revenue. Only thing they have is a lot of hype and eyeballs on their site.
|wheel: They will be if/when FB figures out how to drive targetted traffic. I bet they're having meetings on it. |
Facebook has NONE to very little targeted traffic.
directwheels - if it is $1 billion, it is REVENUE, not profit. Right there from reuters "profit in tens of millions":
[edited by: aleksl at 3:56 pm (utc) on Nov 22, 2010]
|Performance based advertising is the next big thing |
Isn't that what G calls "smart pricing"?
no, smartpricing is mentioned by MrFewkes:
Current Ad Model - I pay ad network (goofle say) and get shafted due to silly high costs.
Facebook is not "the next big thing", it is the next step in dumbing down the society.
>> Does Facebook have a strong e-commerce future to leverage from this ? If so , how ?
shri: Merger with Amazon. Imagine the combination of the two "databases" and reach / frequency.
Why would Amazon in their right mind decide to do something stupid like that, shoot their spectacular conversions in the foot by buying tons of worthless traffic?
|BillyS: BTW - large companies are starting to block employees from FB, that's not a good long-term trend. |
|frontpage: By ignoring this market and to act utterly dismissive of it, you undercut your future market. |
What market? :) Look at profit numbers for Facebook (discount farmville as it can't be monetized except for branding). If there was actually a potential market in there, somewhere, people behind zuckerbergerberger would find it and sell it to everyone already. the only market in there is future burger king customers.
|What I have noticed with regards to successful advertising on facebook is that small businesses have success by treating facebook the same way they would treat real world social interactions. |
People usually don't hang around with bunch of sales guys (unless they are in sales themselves). In real world social interactions I usually show salesmen the door.
FB ALERT* As of today, NEW PRIVACY setting called
"Instant Personalization" that shares data with non-Facebook websites
and it is automatically set to "Enable." Go to Account >Privacy
Settings > Applications and Websites >Instant Personalization >
Edit or ...customize Settings, and un-check "Enable". BTW, if your
......friends don't do...this, they will be sharing information about you.
|Most seem to miss the point about FB marketing, but a few have hit the nail on the head. |
For those who think branding is hitting the nail on the head you cannot even begin to imagine what has already been branded onto your foreheads. Facebook and all other forms of exploitation of personal privacy, dignity is a better word, for financial gain will be dealt with, inventory of unethical business practices is being taken. Our advances in technology are magnificent when applied for the proper reasons. But sadly, technological development has outpaced our social skills of being able to regulate it. As a community of internet marketers and developers we should be policing ourselves to establish social moral guidelines. Some stones should be left unturned. Why is there such an obsessive compulsive need to try to sell someone something where ever they gather in the world, whether online or offline?!
But, I can say with conviction, there is an underlying force to all that is and that will forever be but it lags a little before implementing correction. For those who get discouraged by the current state of online affairs; take heart. It doesn't happen overnight but the process of correction is in place, and always has been. The current campaign began on 29 September, 2008. By design the Dow Jones Industrial average tumbled 777.68 points -- it's framed between the 2 numbers of consciousness. And in that frame you can see a beautiful picture, or an ugly one, depending on what's "branded" onto your forehead. I suspect the current worldwide economic situation is going to get worst, much worst, before it begins to improve because greedy people are in charge of trying to fix it. No matter, it will work itself out.
So for all these fantastic numbers of page views that Facebook is claiming, or whoever is monitoring it on their behalf, please realize that many of those views are cries of despair from bewildered souls seeking a deeper purpose, hoping minute by minute, that someone, somewhere is going to post a nugget of knowledge (freely with no commercialism attached) to their walls. For those who continue to exploit those individuals, shame is yours.
There is nothing wrong with an online social gathering place until it becomes controlled by a select few who commercialize it for their own financial gain. Capitalism is a very dirty word. Online gathering places can serve their purpose but they need to be decentralized. I know Facebook must incur extraordinary costs associated with the kind of infrastructure that must need to be in place to support the activities of giving people that space. I guess for now it will continue to exist supported by the "branders". Ignorance is still very much alive and well.
But, it has to change, and will, maybe peer-to-peer is the answer? I don't know, but the current trend is destructive for our collective well-being. I know at times my words can be fiery, but it is never with ill intention. Please people, lets work together to turn this social media marketing trend around and demonstrate we really do have intelligence, or else wait to have it turned around for us. The latter option will be more painful and a generation of our loved ones will be lost. Time has arrived for "branders" to be culled and lead to the slaughterhouse, not the sheep they are branding. To whom do you pledge your allegiance?
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