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Facebook’s Grip On The Web: 22 Percent Of Pages Link There, 8 Percent Use Open Graph [STUDY]
More than one-fifth of the web links to Facebook in some way, and almost eight percent use Facebook’s Open Graph tags — two numbers that offer a glimpse of Facebook’s deep grip on the web.
The numbers come from a Zyxt Labs study of about 1.3 billion URLs earlier this year. The study found that more than 242 million pages, about 21.7 percent of the total studied, referenced at least one Facebook URL — usually things such as the Like and Share buttons and other social widgets, but also traditional links to Facebook profiles or Facebook Group pages.
Here’s a look at the breakdown of the different types of Facebook references found across the 1.3 billion URLs studied.
Of course, there’s not much to compare these numbers to. Is the 22 percent figure rising or on the decline? Zyxt Labs founder Matthew Berk* says his “guess is that it’s rising, and fast. If nothing else, it’s taken roughly a decade for Facebook to not only accrue roughly a billion users, but to entangle itself in about a fifth of the Web.”
Though the study found about 471 million Facebook URLs in its crawl, only about 3.5 million of those were unique. The bulk of the Facebook URLs, the study says, were for Facebook’s social tools — things that add a social element to web pages like the Like and Share buttons.
Berk says he’s more impressed to see that almost eight percent of web pages use the Open Graph tags.
This is a deeper level of integration, not really one that’s required (anymore), and in essence provides a basis for Facebook to achieve indexable visibility into the broader Web, as well as to introduce to it some of the core concepts it uses to define entities. Much the same way that the Google Toolbar and its caching mechanism gave the search giant live glimpses of the Web as it was consumed by people, these snippets effectively position the Web as a live, visible extension of the entities Facebook is seeking to have users define (through pages and applications).
Berk says he plans to do more studies to see if the Facebook numbers are rising or falling, and also plans to look at other social platforms.
*Disclosure: Berk is a former co-worker of mine several years ago at Marchex, when he was the company’s Lead Search Architect and I was the company’s SEO Manager.