The social web still has a lot of room to grow

The web may be more social now than ever before — but according to a recent study, there is still a lot more room to grow.

Fewer than half of the world’s most highly trafficked websites link to either Facebook or Twitter on their front pages, according to new research conducted by SEO firm BrightEdge. The report didn’t provide details on how many top websites link to both Facebook and Twitter. The BrightEdge study, called the “Social Share Report,” looks at the 10,000 most highly trafficked sites on the Internet and tracks their month-over-month adoption of trends of social plugins and tools.

Here is a graph representation of the study’s findings:

“This is clearly a missed opportunity for the brands that own web properties that are not ‘social aware,'” BrightEdge wrote in the report. “They are missing out on a massive audience engagement driver as the major social networks have garnered quite a following with Facebook alone boasting a mind boggling 700 million active users spending over 750 billion minutes per month on the site.” In fact, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg confirmed at a press event this week that the social networking site’s user base now has more than 750 million users.

The study did have a silver lining for fans of the social web: The world’s top websites are adopting social media plug-ins at a fast clip. Both the Google “+1” button (s GOOG) and the Facebook “Like” button saw an uptick in adoption during the monthly July report period. The Facebook “Like” button is by far the most popular social media plug-in, as it is installed in nearly 11 percent of the top website’s front pages:

Feature image of plant growing courtesy of Flickr user Simon Peckham