Google's absolute dominance of web traffic, in one simple chart

By comparison, Facebook is pretty much just a rounding error.
Written by David Gewirtz, Senior Contributing Editor

We all know Google is big, but it can be completely gobsmacking to realize just how big Google really is.

I recently came upon a mesmerizing animated bar chart on the wonderful Visual Capitalist site. I enjoy Visual Capitalist because it's all charts, all the time, and I have a somewhat unhealthy love of charts. In any case, Visual Capitalist's James Eagle put together an animated bar chart running from 1993 to January 2022 showing the top ten websites, in terms of traffic.

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He pulled traffic numbers for each of the sites using a variety of sources. He arranged the data in bar chart form, with each site having its own horizontal bar. Something about that caught my attention and I found myself staring at it, realizing that what I really wanted to see was a chart of the current traffic of the sites, arranged in a stacked bar format.

The following chart is the result of that desire. I remixed Eagle's January 2022 data into two main bars, one for Google and YouTube, and one for all the rest. I combined Google and YouTube into one bar because both are Alphabet, Inc. properties.

And, well, wow:


David Gewirtz/ZDNET

Google's traffic alone is more than the remaining eight non-Google properties in the top ten.

Some quick notes. Facebook is the third largest in terms of traffic, but even if you combine Facebook with Instagram (also owned by Facebook), the both of them don't even come close to Google's overall traffic.

Let's also keep in mind that Google includes not just search results but Gmail, Maps, all the Google Docs tools, and many other Google resources.

I'm sure you're familiar with Twitter, Wikipedia, and Yahoo (yes, Yahoo still seems to be in the game). But you might not be familiar with the remaining three on the list. Both Baidu and Yandex are search companies, with Baidu servicing mostly China and Yandex mostly Russia. Both, like Yahoo and Google, have a whole range of add-on services beyond basic search.

Xvideo, which is the tenth most popular site on the Internet, is a porn site. It's owned by the Czech company WGCZ Holding, which also owns Bang Bros, DDF Network, Penthouse magazine, Private Media Group, and Erogames. So, yeah.

Conspicuously absent from the top ten list is Amazon. According to Statista, Amazon had 2.7 billion visits in January 2022, putting it substantially below those in the top ten. Also missing are Microsoft (including Bing) and Apple.

I'd like to end this with some pithy and encouraging solution, but I think the chart above squelches that. Google clearly owns the internet. If you ever wanted external validation for the Google SEO craziness that seems to have gripped the entire universe, it's that one bar. We're all ants feeding on that one giant beast that is Google.

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