Google.co.uk will remain the UK’s most popular website ahead of Facebook, according to a research director at Hitwise UK.

Robin Goad’s comments come after his company announced Facebook had become the most visited website in the United States in the seven days to March 13 – a 185 per cent year-on-year increase.

However, in the UK it appears that Google has a healthy lead on the social networking site. UK visitor figures for the same week gave Google a 9.34 per cent share of total UK internet visits and Facebook a 6.01 per cent share. Across the pond, Google.com took a 7.03 per cent share while Facebook edged into first place with 7.07 per cent of the market.

Goad said: “There are two main reasons why Facebook hasn’t yet caught up with Google in the UK (and doesn’t seem likely to do so in the foreseeable future).

“Facebook has a very similar share of the social networking markets in both the UK and US (51.9 per cent and 51.3 per cent respectively last week), but social networking is slight more popular in the US, so Facebook’s share of all Internet visits is higher in there.

“Google has a larger share of search market in the UK (over 90%) than in the US (just over 70 per cent), and search engines as a category are also more popular on this side of the Atlantic.”

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