Of the top five sites by unique visitor in March 2011, Bing and YouTube have shown the largest year-over-year (YOY) growth rates despite being ranked fourth and fifth, according to CompetePRO data. Google has kept a commanding lead with about 150 million unique visitors despite losing about 2.5% of its audience since March 2010.
Google had about 7% more unique visitors in March 2010 than its closest competitor, Facebook, which had about 140 million.
Facebook Gains Visitors, Yahoo Loses
In the past year, Facebook grew its unique monthly visitor total by about 14.5%, while number three Yahoo lost about 1%, closely trailing with roughly 138 million unique visitors. Going back to March 2009, Yahoo held second place and Facebook and YouTube were essentially tied for third place in unique visitors behind Google.
However, Facebook began a notable growth spurt in May 2009 that has since leveled off an restarted a couple of times, while Yahoo’s growth has been relatively flat and YouTube’s growth has also been less dramatic until recently.
Bing did not appear in Compete site tracking until April 2009 and did not reach fifth place until December 2010, displacing Amazon.com. Bing’s two most notable growth spurts have been substantial month-over-month jumps in unique visitor which occurred in June 2009, February and March 2010, September 2010 (followed by a dip in October), and March 2011.
Facebook Dominates in Time Spent
When it comes to total monthly time spent, Facebook easily outdistances its competitors. Facebook users spent a total of about 91.4 billion minutes on the site in March 2011, triple its nearest competitor, YouTube (about 30 billion minutes).
YouTube has seen substantially higher year-over-year growth in total monthly time spent, however, increasing 133%, compared to 47% for Facebook.
It is also interesting to note that craigslist.org comes in fifth in monthly time spent, pushing Bing off the list with about 8.6 billion minutes, representing an almost 17% decline in minutes from March 2010.
Bing has had virtually flat growth in monthly minutes since April 2009 and recorded about 2.5 billion in March 2011.
Facebook Also Dominates Page Views
Craigslist.org ranked third in this category with about 22.4 billion total page views. YouTube lead year-over-year growth in this category at about 88%, with Yahoo Craigslist (-13%) and Google (-8%) experiencing negative growth. Bing roughly doubled its total page views from March 2010 to about 3.6 billion.
Bing Bangs in 2010
The Microsoft Bing search engine displayed dramatic growth in 2010, according to a white paper from comScore. “The 2010 US Digital Year in Review” indicates that Microsoft’s explicit core search volume (primarily represented by Bing) grew 29% during 2010, driven by an 8% increase in unique searchers and 20% increase in searches per searcher.