Gmail Knocks AOL Out of the Way in Race to the Top

    August 17, 2009
    Chris Crum

Gmail has reportedly become the third largest web-based email service in the United States. According to data from comScore, Gmail has surpassed AOL’s email service.

This data shows that in July Gmail had 37 million unique visitors, while AOL had 36.4 million. If this data is accurate, and Gmail continues to grow, that just leaves Windows Live Hotmail and Yahoo Mail left for it to tackle.

While Google clearly dominates in search, Microsoft and Yahoo have both had higher numbers in email for as long as Gmail has existed. Gmail is much younger, however. And while Gmail still has a way to go before overtaking these other services (especially Yahoo), it is no secret that Google has been gaining.

John KremerEarlier this year, WebProNews spoke with Yahoo Mail’s VP John Kremer about Yahoo’s expectations for its own email service, and the threat of Google. He said:

"We’ve been the most popular Webmail service in the US and a worldwide leader for years, and we will continue to lead from the front of the pack – not by looking in the rearview mirror," says Kremer. "We’re always exploring ways to improve Webmail, and provide deeper engagement through a more social, relevant and useful Yahoo! Mail experience."

At the time of that discussion, Gmail was on pace to surpass Hotmail by the end of the year, and InformationWeek predicted that Gmail could even overtake Yahoo Mail by the end of 2011.

A few months ago Gmail made it easier to import email and contacts from other providers like Yahoo and Hotmail. This was Google’s way of luring users to start Gmail accounts without having to abandon their existing accounts.