NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Facebook topped Google to become the most visited U.S. Web site last week, indicating a shift in how Americans are searching for content.
Web analysis firm Experian Hitwise said Monday that the social networking site surpassed Google to take the No. 1 spot for the week ended March 13.
"It shows content sharing has become a huge driving force online," said Matt Tatham, director of media relations at Hitwise. "People want information from friends they trust, versus the the anonymity of a search engine."
Facebook accounted for 7.07% of U.S. Web traffic that week, while Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) received 7.03%. The study compared only the domains Facebook.com and Google.com -- not, for example, Google-owned sites like Gmail.com.
Though the traffic levels were close, Facebook's year-over-year growth far outpaced Google's that week. The number of visitors to Facebook spiked 185% compared with the same period last year, while Google's traffic climbed just 9%.
"It's definitely a big moment for Facebook, even though they beat by a small margin," Tatham said. "We've seen it coming for quite a long time."
Facebook had never before beaten Google over a full weeklong period, though it has been the most visited site on recent holidays: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Facebook was also the top site on the weekend of March 6-7.
Google.com had been the No. 1 site each week since Sept. 15, 2007, when ironically it passed another social networking site, MySpace.com, in order to take the crown.
Of course, the MySpace connection could be a bad omen for Facebook. MySpace enjoyed dominance on the social networking scene for years until it saw traffic plummet following Facebook's rise.
Toyota executive Julie Hamp is resigning following her arrest a few weeks ago. More
Greece is facing a hideous choice: another massive bailout with strict austerity attached, or rapid economic collapse. More
Windows 10 will start rolling out slowly in waves, beginning on July 29. More
That's because I'm Taiwanese American and am in on a little-known secret. It's called a hun sha. More