Google earns top spot in Nielsen's Tops of 2011

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Google narrowly edged out Facebook as the top Internet destination for US web surfers in 2011. The data was compiled by market researcher Nielsen as part of their Tops of 2011: Digital series that also includes the top social media sites, video destinations and smartphone devices.

Google recorded an average of 153.4 million unique visitors each month in 2011, just ahead of Facebook with 137.6 million monthly unique. Yahoo, MSN / Windows Live / Bing and YouTube rounded out the top five with 130.1 million, 115.8 million and 106.6 million visitors, respectively. Data was collected from January through October 2011 on home and work computers.

Facebook earned the top spot as the most popular social network / blog by a landslide at 137.6 million average monthly unique visitors. Blogger ranked second at 45.7 million followed by Twitter, WordPress and Myspace with 23.5 million, 20.3 million and 17.9 million each. The same set of data and collection process was used to record these stats.

YouTube outpaced all other contenders as the most popular destination for online videos with 111.1 million monthly visitors. VEVO ranked second with 34.5 million uniques followed by Facebook with 29.8 million. Hulu came in seventh place with 13.1 million unique and Netflix ranked 10th with only 7.4 million.

Apple ranked first in the smartphone manufacturers list with a 29 percent market share. HTC earned the silver medal with a 21 percent share followed by RIM at 17 percent. Samsung and Motorola both held an 11 percent market share during the data collection timeframe of August to October 2011.

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