According to Alexa rankings, Facebook is now the #1 most trafficked property in Canada. This puts it ahead of Google, Yahoo, and MSN among others. Do I believe this to be true? Not likely. As we all know, Alexa ranks are inaccurate at best.
Obviously the social network has witnessed phenomenal growth this year, but I can’t imagine Facebook being bigger than Google - at least not yet. Keep in mind, however, that Canada has had one of the highest Facebook penetration rates among all countries. Most notably, Facebook adoption has reached unprecedented levels in Toronto with over 700,000 registered users. Only London has a larger user base.
Though Alexa rankings may be skewed, one thing is for certain: Facebook engagement metrics are much higher than those at Google or Yahoo. A comparison of the 3 properties by Compete indicates the following:
Page views per visit [source]:
- Facebook: 45.2
- Yahoo: 17.3
- Google: 12.2
Average stay (in minutes) [source]:
- Facebook: 13:53
- Yahoo: 9:57
- Google: 5:43
Keep in mind that the Compete metrics are not exclusive to Canadians, but can provide a general overview of website engagement levels.
What we can conclude from all of this is though overall traffic may be lacking, user engagement cannot be overlooked or understated. Facebook has done an excellent job of creating a ’sticky’ experience. Their traffic numbers may not be as high yet, but their users are more immersed and absorbed than can be said on other sites. I think it is even fair to say that many are hooked or addicted to the service.