Google, Facebook top Internet destinations in 2011

Search edges social networking for Web users this year, according to data from market researcher Nielsen.

Search was still more important than being social on the Web in 2011--but not by much.

Google edged out Facebook as the top Internet destination this year, according to data released today by market researcher Nielsen. The Web giant logged 153.4 million average unique visitors per month, compared with the social-networking giant's 137.6 million.

Yahoo came in at No. 3 with 130.1 million unique monthly visitors, while Microsoft's MSN/WindowsLive/Bing and Google's YouTube filled out the Top 5.

While Google was tops in overall Web properties, Facebook remained firmly entrenched as No. 1 in social networks and blogs with the aforementioned 137.6 million average unique visitors. Blogger came in at a distant second with 45.7 million average monthly unique visitors, and Twitter was third with 23.5 million.

Google+, Google's nascent social network, came in at No. 8 with 8.2 million average unique visitors per month, behind MySpace, LinkedIn, and Tumblr.

Also not a surprise, YouTube was the top video destination on the Web, averaging 111 million unique visitors a month. Vevo was a very distant second with 34 million average unique monthly visitors, and at No. 3 was Facebook with 29.8 million average unique monthly visitors. Video-streaming site Hulu came in at No. 8 with 12.4 million average unique monthly visitors. Bringing up the bottom of the top 10 list was troubled video site Netflix, with 7.4 million average unique monthly visitors.

Nielsen also ranked smartphones, listing Apple at the top with 29 percent of the market, followed by HTC with 21 percent and Research In Motion with 17 percent.

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