We all know that Google is big, but a study released Monday showing exactly how big Google has become.
Google, and its bevy of services, including Gmail, search, YouTube and Maps, now account for 25% of all Internet traffic in North America, on average, according to Deepfield, an Internet monitoring company that released the data. 25% sounds good but how significant is that in the online world?
To put it another way, Google's bite is bigger than Facebook, Netflix, and Instagram traffic combined, Deepfield said.
Google has made a lot of headway in the last three years. In 2010, Deepfield reported that Google's services accounted for about 6% of Internet traffic.
Deepfield noted that its analysis, which is based on a "large scale" study of Internet backbone traffic across North America, included a wide array of devices that connect to the Internet -- computers and mobile devices, as well as game consoles, home media appliances, and embedded devices, like Xbox 360 and Apple TV.
Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research, said he's not surprised that Google has picked up so much steam and now has grabbed a quarter of Internet traffic.
"Google is making good products," he said. "I'd say that Gmail, Youtube, and Maps probably account for much of the increase... But I suppose it's a good sign that less time is spent screwing off online and people are doing something that at least might be productive."
Google could serve as a good example for other Internet companies trying to get a bigger bite of online traffic.
"Look at Google," said Gottheil. "Provide good tools that answer enduring needs. People always need to find information and communicate, and, I guess, watch movies of cats."
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is email@example.com.
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This story, "Google bigger than Facebook, Netflix and Instagram combined" was originally published by Computerworld.