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Google now has a new rival for first place in the Most Visited Site Contest.  On both Christmas Eve and Christmas day, Facebook surpassed Google for the number one most visited site for the first time.  In a funny twist, “facebook” is the most-searched term on Google and other search engines this year while Yahoo! Mail was the third place site.  All of this according to Hitwise.

Websites reporting this phenomenon had different takes on how it was playing out.  ReadWriteWeb’s Marshall Kirkpatrick was amazed that Facebook’s new (some say privacy-removing) new policies didn’t dissuade users from going to the site.  With a completely different tack, Nick O’Neill on AllFacebook congratulated the site and marked it as part of Facebook’s “rise to the top.”

Facebook boasts 350 million users and growing.  While Google dominates with 6.7% of all U.S. traffic, putting two and two together makes the Facebook King for a Day (or two) phenomenon a little more obvious.  If “facebook” was the number one search term on Google and other search engines for 2009 and if Christmas is when most people traditionally put out extra effort to interact with friends and family, then obviously Facebook, being the largest social network, is in a position to benefit from all of this.

Still, it’s pretty amazing and shows the growth of the ‘Net and the power of social networking as a phenomenon today.


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