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Google Hits One Billion Unique Visits In a Month 126

Posted by samzenpus
from the they-grow-up-so-fast dept.
BogenDorpher writes "According to statistics from ComScore, for the first time ever, a website drew one billion visitors worldwide in just one month. Guess what website came out on top? Google of course. Microsoft and Facebook rounded out the top three. From the article: 'Though Google captured the most visitors last month, users collectively spent the most time at Facebook--250 billion minutes in May, compared with 200 billion minutes at Google and 204 billion at Microsoft."
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Google Hits One Billion Unique Visits In a Month

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  • What would occupy your time on the Microsoft webpage nearly as much as Facebook? I'm genuinely curious because I can't think of anything there that's not a quick in and out unless they count time to download updates as part of the metric.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The article refer to "Microsoft Sites" which presumably include Live, Bing, Hotmail etc etc. - not just Microsoft.com.

      • Users stay on 'microsoft' web sites more because they start off using the default search engine, Bing, which primarily returns links to other Microsoft web pages. You only can break out by following a link in a user posting to a non-Microsoft website, and only for a short time after the posting happens, as it gets replaced with a link to a version of the external web page, cached on a Microsoft web site...

        • by tehcyder (746570)

          Users stay on 'microsoft' web sites more because they start off using the default search engine, Bing, which primarily returns links to other Microsoft web pages. You only can break out by following a link in a user posting to a non-Microsoft website, and only for a short time after the posting happens, as it gets replaced with a link to a version of the external web page, cached on a Microsoft web site...

          Sometimes anti-MS sentiment can get in the way of reality. Bing is a search engine like google, it gets results from the whole web.
          As a quick example, if you type in "google" the first results are for sites owned by Google, not Microsoft.

    • Updates perhaps? They don't say whether they counted phone-home updates in this study or not.
    • by nmccrin1 (1897902)
      I know, they don't even have Farmville!
      • Which is a valid point. What is the difference between Farmville and Xbox Live!
        • by nschubach (922175)

          Hmm, If they count XBox connections then I can see it, but that doesn't speak to the credibility of Microsoft.com It just tells me how much time people really actively spend on Google/Facebook is tremendous since there's nobody constantly streaming data for hours on end.

        • You don't get tho hear constant whine and cocktease in farmville?

    • by amiga3D (567632)

      Watching the little circle go 'round and 'round.

    • "I can't think of anything there that's not a quick in and out"

      Now then, doesn't that speak volumes about how well their site works? ;)

      • by nschubach (922175)

        It just tells me how much I find from Google linked directly to MSDN docs I need and I'm out. ;)

        • It just tells me how much I find from Google linked directly to MSDN docs I need and I'm out. ;)

          And that, actually, says a lot.

    • by SQLGuru (980662)

      Most of the downloads are actually hosted at Akamai or some other edge caching service......so those might not count even if they weren't excluded.....

    • Default home page is MSN.COM for a lot of computers in offices etc., or pretty much any place with enough IT to disable IE options and not enough IT for an intranet homepage etc Some people read the articles etc.
    • by Calos (2281322)

      Have you ever tried using any Microsoft websites to find answers to... anything? It's all advertising. God help you if you have a technical query.

      Such a headache. I can believe that someone could spend equal or more time there.

      I just don't even bother any more.

      • You need God's help to run a google query? - site:msdn.microsoft.com.
        • Omniscient? Check. Omnipresent? Check. Omnipotent? Probably.

          I'm not seeing how any of us can make a Google query without some divinity involved.
        • by BitZtream (692029)

          Its a safe bet he uses Google considering he thinks MS search sucks. In fact if you look at the last line, its pretty clear that he doesn't use MS sites.

          You need help for reading comprehension? Maybe call God?

    • by Snaller (147050)

      Microsoft is the startup page in windows - billions of people just start the browser and end there.

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        Microsoft is the startup page in windows - billions of people just start the browser and end there.

        Whereas the default start up page in Google Chrome is obviously Bing or Yahoo. Oh, wait, no of course it fucking isn't.

    • My guess is that they get hits from people who never changed their default home page on IE, and if you're stupid enough to be using IE you're probably going to take a few minutes figuring out how to open a new tab...
    • by 0ld_d0g (923931)

      It counts all websites OWNED by Google and Microsoft.

    • by synapse7 (1075571)
      What if you do not have a facebook account and thus no reason to be on facebook you insensitive clod! and spend time reading technet articles...
  • by Mabbo (1337229) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @06:34PM (#36536410)
    What, exactly, are people *doing* at Microsoft's website that would take 204 Billion minutes?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Filling Bug Reports

    • Probably logged into XBox Live and fragging each other in Halo.

    • Indeed. I myself use Google a lot. I can understand people spending too much time on facebook. But MS ? I'd be curious to know where on MS's Web people go to. Last time I spent any amount of time there was tryng to make sense of 7's tiers and prices. Unless the backgroung page I keep open to my junkmail account on hotmail counts ....

      • by BitZtream (692029)

        People don't spend massive amounts of time just google searching ... or bing searching ... the do however spend lots of time reading their email on the sites both of those providers provide.

    • Re:Microsoft? (Score:4, Informative)

      by _merlin (160982) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @07:03PM (#36536690) Homepage Journal

      MSDN developer documentation and admin reference. People do write Windows software and administer all those systems, you know.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Very much this. I recently started a C# project and if you're new to .NET MSDN is essential.

        • by BitZtream (692029)

          If you're smart, you'll install the localized help and turn on integrated help in visual studio, its far easier to access the help locally with hotkeys than using msdn for most things.

    • by blair1q (305137)

      Waiting for help.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      windowsupdate.microsoft.com ?

      gotta wonder if that's counted.......(Can't speak for later windows versions, but at least in XP that page was still hit when you ran an update)

    • by elpostino (631110)
      I am there just about everyday on Technet, reading through knowledge base articles, or downloading software / patches. It is almost always a Google search that has gotten me to that particular Microsoft page ;)
      • Of course one is forced to use Google because the search function on Microsoft's site is pretty worthless.
    • See the following process comparable to a maddening wikipedia link chain with no surprises:

      (1) click on semi-relevant article with a title that seems like it may help to resolve said issue.
      (2) find that this article has to be written for the likes of your grandmother (completely retarded user) or some weird error code (that uses like 8 digits these days) and is completely irrelevant.
      (3) Look to the bottom and see See Also:
      (4) Go to Step (1)

      True story. In fact I bet this is really easy for content service p

  • Why is there a Facebook logo next to a Google story?
  • TFS

    users collectively spent the most time at Facebook--250 billion minutes in May,

    A huge waste of time and bandwidth.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      That goodness we have pope like you to judge the value of other peoples time.

      You're no different the people who try to dictate what should be allowed on TV, which websites should not be allowed, and what god to follow.

      • by c0lo (1497653)

        That goodness we have pope like you to judge the value of other peoples time.

        You're no different the people who try to dictate what should be allowed on TV, which websites should not be allowed, and what god to follow.

        A matter of personal opinion is trying to dictate? Suggestion: go have a nap, let me waste in peace some time and bandwidth ... on /.

        • That goodness we have pope like you to judge the value of other peoples time.

          You're no different the people who try to dictate what should be allowed on TV, which websites should not be allowed, and what god to follow.

          A matter of personal opinion is trying to dictate? Suggestion: go have a nap, let me waste in peace some time and bandwidth ... on /.

          I agree. Now if you'd said, "Facebook should be made illegal" that would be different. I'd still agree with you, but that would be somewhat dictatorial.

    • A huge waste of time and bandwidth.

      Agreed. FB should really offer facebooking torrents, that way people could waste the time automatically during the night, while they're asleep.

    • A huge waste of time and bandwidth.

      Not necessarily. Those 250 billion minutes on Facebook might have saved 100 billion minutes or so of phone calls.

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      TFS

      users collectively spent the most time at Facebook--250 billion minutes in May,

      A huge waste of time and bandwidth.

      And what did you spend your time online doing? Oh, hold on, this is slashdot, I think we all know the answer to that one.
      Downloading Linux ISOs, obviously.

      • by c0lo (1497653)

        TFS

        users collectively spent the most time at Facebook--250 billion minutes in May,

        A huge waste of time and bandwidth.

        And what did you waste your time online doing? Oh, hold on, this is slashdot, <del>...</del> obviously.

        FTFY

  • by blair1q (305137) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @07:06PM (#36536708) Journal

    Took me a second.

    They don't mean a billion clicks.

    They mean a billion different people. One seventh of the world's population followed any of Google's URI's at some point during the month.

    Fuck.

    • Well, many people might be double counted. If you use google at home and at work, you were probably double counted.
      • by Lokitoth (1069508)
        True, but also consider what percentage of the world's population does *not* have access to a computer/the internet, especially at home.
      • by aneroid (856995)

        Good point. In which case my guess would be "triple counted" - home, work and phone. But that also applies to the Facebook visitors, assuming not all companies block it.

        So does that mean only the MS sites were double counted...putting them on top of the "unique visitors" list? I feel dirty for pointing that out. I can only hope they stupidly included xbox connections, so also triple counted.

      • by mgblst (80109)

        Consider a lot of people at work will be behind a single IP address, and a lot of people also do not have the internet at home, so it may in fact be more than 1 billion. Of course, there numbers are hard to work out exactly. And mobile users may be also doubly counted.

        • by jascat (602034)

          Since GA is based off of Urchin, I assume that they are using something close to it. Urchin works off of a server's access logs. Primarily, it tries to set a cookie that is then used for tracking. The standard practice is to modify the access logs to include that tracking token in the log entry. If no cookie can be set, then it approximates a session based on source IP, user-agent, referrer, time between requests, etc.

          I would imagine that most people are being counted multiple times, thus inflating the num

          • by swillden (191260)

            So a better description is that a billion unique devices visited Google in one month.

            That's still pretty freaking amazing.

      • Well, many people might be double counted. If you use google at home and at work, you were probably double counted.

        For every guy in the US who uses 3 or 4 computers every day, there's an internet cafe in some poorer area in another country serving hundreds or thousands of customers, all on the same set of computers.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Dynamic IPs, man.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I worked in the field, and "unique" doesn't mean what normal people think it means. As on the net, you can't really identify if it's the same person. All you can tell, is if it's the same IP or the same cookie.
      As you can imagine, that can be way different from unique people.

      Plus, most companies keep this a big secret, but they also count their own employees' visits.
      Some even run bots ramping up requests from their employees' home computers by the thousands, to boost their parts of the site in the weekly mee

    • Followed is probably a misnomer. It conjures up a picture of people pointing their browser to the Google homepage and either clicking the search button, or just navigating the web pages in the google.com domain.

      The reality of the web is that one might be on a completely unrelated website, and because that website uses Google tools like the AJAX web toolkit, or the free google local site search, or even the google advertising spyware, then behind the scenes the browser will connect to a Google owned server

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      Yes it's a lot of people visiting Google. Some may be double counted of course, many more will be missed due to shared Internet connections. If at home my wife and I use the Internet at the same time, we share a single connection, and with that IP address. I wonder whether they count that as one or as two unique visits.

      On the other hand, one billion unique visitors to Google isn't that surprising, considering there are currently almost than 2.1 billion Internet users according to this [internetworldstats.com] site. How accurate th

  • I'd like to know how they count both visitors and time sent.

    Do my multiple brother, on multiple PCs, each count as a unique visitor ?
    Does my pretty much 24x6 background tab to gmail count as 24x6h/week of presence ?

    For comparisons, this probably more or less averages out between sites (though usage patterns may vary ?), but as absolute numbers, of few buckets of salt are advisable, I think.

    • Presumably using tracking cookies.
      Unless you have a login to the site, accessing the same site on 2 different machines probably counts as 2 users. Disabling cookies from the site probably counts as one user per visit.
  • From the WSJ article: "ComScore’s estimates are based on its “global measurement panel” of two million Internet users, similar to how Nielsen measures television ratings. ComScore refines the estimates with “page view” data that it receives from more than 90 of the 100 publishers of Web content, but not from Google." Without more details the numbers are, well, numbers.
  • by c0lo (1497653) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @07:28PM (#36536920)
    Just made me curious: how many visitors/minutes on /.?
  • 204 billion minutes = 388,000 years
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm responsible for all KINDS of different searches from over 20 IP's...
    And that's in just one month.

    Pretty truculent to assume they can tell 'unique' visitors.

    • by grcumb (781340) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @11:48PM (#36538326) Homepage Journal

      I'm responsible for all KINDS of different searches from over 20 IP's...

      Oops, we stand corrected: Make that 999,999,981 unique visitors.

      Of course, we kind of fudged the underage we got from the countless Internet cafés worldwide, then jiggled things a bit to cope with laptops and tablets in Starbucks and airports... oh - we did catch that two month period when you were leeching off your neighbour's wifi. And we tried to tell the difference between the times when you accessed the web via your Kindle, your XBox and your Android phone, because you know, at this level of accuracy, mere statistical analysis isn't going to cut it....

      So... thanks a bunch for clearing that up. Our numbers just wouldn't be the same without the benefit of your little anecdote....

      Oh, wait - yes they would.

      sincerely,
      ComScore

  • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @10:15PM (#36537920) Homepage Journal
    250 billion minutes were wasted playing absurd games

    200 billion minutes were used searching for information and pictures on Anthony Weiner

    205 billion minutes were used downloading the latest version of the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool.
  • Google searching for porn
    Facebook hoping to make contact with porn star
    Microsoft for fixing windows when they click on free porn ads

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      Facebook hoping to make contact with porn star

      You do know that if you friend a pornstar on facebook, they don't come round and have sex with you in real life?
      And I should know, as 2976 of my 2978 friends on facebook are pornstars, and my mom and sis are getting a bit worried.

  • 30 Billion COBOL transactions estimated per DAY

    Source: Reuters [reuters.com]

    Ok, that estimate is two years old, but still, huge ... no?

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