Posted November 26, 2008 1:07 am by with 5 comments

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on FacebookBuffer this page

By Taylor Pratt

The growth of YouTube over the last few years has been amazing. According to Hitwise, YouTube has grown from less than 0.05% of weekly US Internet visits to close to 1% over the last three years. 

hitwise chart: youtube marketshare growth over three years

What caused this dramatic shift in YouTube’s popularity? According to Nate Anderson of Ars Technica, NBC claims their viral video hit Lazy Sunday propelled YouTube to its fame. Could NBC be right?

According to Hitwise, the premier of Lazy Sunday in 2005 was the start of an upward traffic trend for YouTube. Prior to Lazy Sunday’s release, traffic had remained level. Once the video was uploaded to the site (and became the viral hit that it was), the site took off. Next thing YouTube knew, they were being snatched up by Google for $1.65 billion dollars. The video was removed from the YouTube website in February of 2007.

Later this week Hitwise will be publishing the top YouTube site search terms. They did not clarify for what date range the keywords would be coming from, but I guarantee we will all be in for a surprise.

Anyone up for some Narnia and cupcakes while we wait?

Taylor Pratt is a Search Marketing Specialist at nFusion, a results focused marketing agency.

  • I’m sure some of the top searches on there will not be what we expect. However traffic to Youtube would naturally go up after being purchased by Google.

  • I love those SNL shorts.

    Jaan Kanellis’s last blog post..Google Publicly Attacking Paid Links Again?Stop Already

  • Now that Hulu is the host of Lazy Sunday, there is no way they are going to get bought for $1.6 billion. It is irresponsible for NBC to make that type of claim.

  • Hard to believe a single viral video had permanent results for YouTube. frontpaged on Digg a long time ago but it took quite a bit after that for Digg to grow as big as it did.

    Utah SEO Pro’s last blog post..ExactFactor: An SEO Tool Review

  • But I believe that the viral video of great interest could lead to unbelievable popularity and fantastic results for YouTube.