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Competitors gain on Google and Facebook

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Google and Facebook remain the most popular search engine and social networking site in the UK, but their competitors are gaining ground on them.

Data from Experian Hitwise’s latest Search Engine and Social Analysis shows that Google sites took 91.04% of UK searches in July, but that they lost 0.98% of their searches compared to June 2011. Microsoft sites gained 0.96% to take 3.84% of searches, putting it into second place, while Yahoo! sites gained 0.03% to 3% of searches.

On the social side, Facebook lost 3.58% of its share of visits to social networking sites to 50.14%, compared to 53.72% in June 2011.

YouTube was a winner in this area, taking one in every 35 internet visits to a UK website and 22.54% of visits to social networking sites in July, some 1.78% more traffic than the previous year. In third place was Twitter, with 3.45% of visits.

Robin Goad, research director of Experian Hitwise, said: “The growth of YouTube over the last year has been outstanding. Now firmly entrenched as the UK’s third most visited website after Google UK and Facebook, YouTube continues to make advances in the field of online video.

“A lot of YouTube’s growth has come from usage on mobile devices. One in 20 visits to YouTube now comes from a mobile device used on a home WiFi network, and that doesn’t take into account the millions of videos watched each month using the 3G networks.”

Goad said this confirmed mobile as the next digital frontier and of the success a brand could have by aligning itself with this technology.

He added: “The next step for marketers is to work out not just how to organise their search and social spend, but how much resource can be dedicated to the growing online mobile industry.”

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