It is hardly a surprise that Google is the top Web brand in the United States during 2012 or that Facebook came second. But these figures from Nielsen still hold some surprises.
Data collected from January to October 2012 show that on average 172.6 million people per month visited Google. Facebook had 153.0 million visitors, that is 89% of Google's traffic. Using Alexa to compare Facebook.com's traffic to that of Google.com shows that there is a regular pattern in which Facebook occupies the number 1 traffic rank every weekend, falling back to #2 on weekdays when Google.com is top. You need to bear in mind, however, that while Google has national sites such as Google.co.uk, that are not counted in these statistics, users from all over the world use Facebook.com.
One surprise is the extent to which Yahoo.com has managed to keep its visitor numbers up with 141.6 million visitors per month.
YouTube, which is of course a Google property but is split out for this able in the 4th position, with 128.3 million. This puts it ahead of the combined Microsoft web offerings - i.e. MSN, Bing and Windows Live, which between them attracted an average of 127.8 million visitors.
There is a big gap in numbers before we get to the top site in the lower half of the table. The main Microsoft site attracted an average of 92.8 million US visitors per month and next comes AOL Media Network with 86.6 million, which shows that longevity is certainly important.
Amazon.com attracts slightly more traffic than Wikipedia (they have averages of 78.1 million and 76.0 million respectively) and Ask Search Network has a very respectable total of 73.4 million.
What it does go to show is our very intense use of and reliance on the Internet for work and entertainment.