Posted by Eric Frye & filed under Facebook, National, Social Media Marketing.

According to research done by Experian® Hitwise®, a part of Experian Marketing Services, Facebook claims the top-visited website title for 2010 for the first time, unseating the search engine giant, Google. According to the report, 8.93 percent of all website visits in the US were to, surpassing the 7.19 percent of visits made to snagged the number three spot with 3.52 percent of all visits.

Looking at the combination of Google and Yahoo properties presents a slightly different view, with total Google sites pulling 9.85 percent of all US visits, and Yahoo properties accounting for 8.12 percent. This, however, does not diminish the significance of Facebook’s accomplishment as the social networking site that pressed its way past the major search engines. Facebook had a fantastic year in terms of search terms, as well. Four of the top ten most typed in searches were Facebook related, including the number one and two terms, “facebook” and “facebook login.”

The stellar performance of Facebook likely accounts for the latest buzz about huge new investors and the possibility of future public offerings . All of the success and growth potential of Facebook indicates that it is no flash in the pan. At least for the immediate future, Facebook will remain a key player in the world of internet communication, and thus a vital tool for online marketing.

According to research done by comScore, Facebook serves almost 25% of all US internet display advertising. In a recent article, Search Engine Land suggests areas of potential Facebook growth following new investments:

“Mobile advertising is one obvious place, e-commerce is another (shopping is a big opportunity for Facebook) and local is a third opportunity. But search might also be another place that Facebook inevitably turns.”

What all of this ultimately means for small business marketers is that social media is a marketing asset that should not be dismissed or overlooked. As the popularity and presence of Facebook continues to grow, so will the opportunities for savvy businesses to leverage the power of social media.