Google and Facebook are dominant players in their respective fields, but that supremacy is more notable in specific areas. A recent Hitwise report showed Google at 92 percent of search share and Facebook at 54 percent of social share in the UK.
The Search & Social Leaders and Their Competition
Even more than its U.S. counterpart, Google UK has taken a massive lead. The Experian Hitwise report released this month put Google UK at 92.02 percent of search share for the country. This figure represents a sharp increase from last month, when Google held 90.53 percent search share, and an increase from June of last year, when Google held 91.82 percent.
Obviously, there's little room left for competitors in search. Yahoo and Microsoft sites, when combined, represent 5.84 percent of search share. Take note: Google is clearly siphoning traffic from these sites. June saw a 1.49 percent decrease from May, and a 0.21 percent decrease from June 2010.
Facebook, meanwhile, holds 53.72 percent of social share in the UK. The second most popular social site, YouTube, is at 20.76 percent, but has grown more than any other social service in the UK for four consecutive months. Nevertheless, that share growth isn't steamrolling: last month saw 0.24 percent growth for YouTube. Twitter, meanwhile, holds only 3.22 percent of social share in the UK.
The Changing Web
While the study gives a clear picture of who the winners and losers of the UK web race are, there's also more broad perspective to be garnered from the report. For example, while search traffic once made up approximately 40 percent of all traffic referrals, they now make up only 34.29 percent. Social networking, meanwhile, has climbed steadily and now rests at 12.54 percent of all site referrals.
As Hitwise's James Murray reminds us, "This is not to say that search is on the decline – far from it. As Internet usage continues to grow, more searches are being conducted online every single day."
The reason for the declining numbers for search are simply that the Internet has grown as a whole. This form of synergistic expansion seems clearly good for each web-associated industry, while the monopolistic expansion of companies within those industries leads to far more ambiguous conclusions about economic and innovative health.
For the most recent U.S. search market figures, see our report from yesterday, "June 2011 Search Engine Market Share from comScore, Hitwise."