While the world of web technology is far more about loyalty, revenue, and a few other less-than-easy to track metrics, Google has nevertheless earned some bonus points for being the first in one easily tracked category: monthly unique visitors (or MUVs). While Facebook has been growing rapidly, with a 30% growth rate in the last twelve months that threatened to hit the billion user point before Google could make it, Google did cross the finish line first. May of 2011 was the first month that Google is estimated to have seen more than a billion unique visitors.
The unique visitors statistic is provided by comScore, who uses a panel of approximately two million users and extrapolates the global data from the information provided; this happens in much the same way as other global statistic tracking, including television sweeps. While comScore did provide information on Google’s overall search share and other relevant data oriented specifically toward search (including the impressive 12.2 billion searches figure and the current 63.3% of search market share), the most notable data includes more than Google’s search sites.
Beyond the core Google search (Google.com and its various localized versions), the comScore figures examine the unique monthly visitors on a variety of other sites – including YouTube, Google’s second most popular property, and other major sites such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, and Android-associated websites. In the race to the company with the most popular properties, it wasn’t Facebook – despite its intense growth – who was right on Google’s heels. Rather, Microsoft’s various properties came in a fairly close second, with over 900 million unique visitors in May of 2010.