Is it possible to beat Google at the traffic game? For many years, the search giant has been at the top of the charts, but if reports coming in from Hitwise are correct, we may have a new king of the castle, and associated dirty rascal.

For some time now, Facebook has been climbing in the stats - going from just over 2% of web traffic a year ago to almost 6.5% at the end of November. Following a lull just before Christmas, the site has climbed back up and surpassed that figure, hitting a marketshare of 7.07%, according to Hitwise's stats. Google currently has a market share of around 7.03%.

Of course, there are many firms that measure web traffic. Compete still shows a gap of around 10,000,000 visits between the two sites, though that gap is narrowing. Alexa also lists Google above Facebook. What's clear, though, is that thanks to the nature of Facebook - people clicking several pages in one visit, rather than just one or two - it has a leg up over the search engine. It can't be long before Facebook's growth, at its current rate, takes it above Google everywhere.