Google: One Billion Served

In May, Google became the first web property to have one billion unique visitors. According to comScore, Microsoft clocked around 905 million visitors, and Facebook.com had 713.6 million visitors.

McDonalds is still the reigning champ!

Can you even imagine a billion of anything? It looks like this in numbers: 1,000,000,000. Outside of North America, this is often referred to as One Thousand Million. One billion pennies stacked equals the height and length of five school buses, and “a piece of finely woven bed sheet cloth that contained a billion holes would measure about 500 square feet, large enough to cover a moderate sized apartment.”

That’s a lot of anything, but there’s a hidden downside. The Google number represents an 8.4% growth, but competitors Microsoft and Facebook have higher growth percentages. Facebook’s growth was 30%. Does this mean Facebook will eventually overtake Google? I hope not and probably not.

An International Look at Mobile Advertising

The Microsoft Mobile Advertising Consumer & Insight Study is a new series of reports that compares mobile ad insights and responses across three different countries, US, UK and France.

The study notes that people in all three countries spend around 10 hours a week using their mobile phones for something other than calling or texting. They then looked at pre-purchase behavior and here’s what they got:

After reviewing the information, 40% of those in France used their mobile phone to purchase an item, as did 39% of US users and 34% in the UK.

After purchase, the US was slightly ahead in using their mobile phone to check order status and to share product info with others. France came in lowest on the sharing poll, so apparently they like to shop but prefer to keep their treasures to themselves.

New Study: Only 7.5 Percent of Fans See Your Facebook Page Posts

On average, 7.9% of Facebook fans see fan page updates on a daily basis. When you look specifically at Facebook pages with over a million fans, the number drops to 2.79%.

Wow, that’s depressing. And just yesterday we were telling you how Facebook is booming and moms follow lots of brand pages and they’re being influenced to buy. So how can that be?

The numbers come from PageLever, but they’re in a closed beta right now, so we’re getting it second hand from All Facebook. Even without being able to dive deeply into the original report, I believe what I’m seeing.

Marketing to Moms: A Good Product Trumps All

Brands spend billions of dollars marketing to moms. They make commercials, offer coupons and samples and they run active social media campaigns. According to a new White Paper by SheSpeaks and Mom-entum, all those brands really needed to do was turn out a great product.

In a survey of 800 moms, the majority (31%) said they “like” a brand on Facebook because they like the brand in real life. 23% said they came over from a “like” button on a company webpage. Either way, they came in to Facebook because they were already a fan of the product so finding the brand on Facebook was the next step.

Facebook Bumps Up to Third Largest for Ad Sales

If you need more proof that Facebook is growing faster than Steve McQueen’s The Blob, here it is. eMarketer is reporting that Facebook has moved into third place for total ad sales, passing Microsoft and is closing the gap on Yahoo.

Google is still number one and way out of reach thanks mostly to search, but you have to wonder if someone won’t be able to push past them. . . someday?

What’s truly discouraging about these numbers is the fact that now 67.7% of all ad dollars are being split between the top five companies. That’s up from 63% only two years ago. With AOL and Yahoo trending downward and Microsoft barely hanging on, it’s possible that this could be a three-horse race in the near future, or even worse, a battle between Facebook and Google alone. To keep the monster metaphor alive, that’s like Godzilla vs. Rodan and it’s the little people who will suffer.

Foursquare Works on Providing Value to Lurkers

The internet is full of lurkers, those curious folks who read but don’t join in. (You know who you are.) Social media has them by the ton and Foursquare is determined to involve them one way or the other.

Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley spoke at a conference this week where he talked about ways of bringing additional value to Foursquare users. Twitter has a large lurker rate, but many people who don’t Tweet actively use the service to follow friends, celebs and hashtags. But as BetaBeat points out, following people on Foursquare without actually participating is, well. . . tantamount to stalking.

The solution, says Crowley, is to introduce an explore feature and maybe even celebrity squares. With just a little tweaking, Foursquare can position itself as a city guide with top users suggesting the best places to eat, shop and visit.

1 In 5 Says Facebook Influenced Their Decision to Buy

A new survey by Kantar Media’s Compete shows that one quarter of consumers visits the official Facebook page of a retailer or product at least once a month. Why? I bet you already know the answer. 56% of them said they did it to keep up on sales and promotions.

In addition to stopping by Facebook, 20% of consumers said that what they saw there influenced their decision to make a purchase.

Debra Arbesman, Compete senior associate, retail and consumer products says,

“Savvy retailers are now making Facebook pages part of an integrated online shopping experience, and we expect this model will take the industry by storm in the coming months.”