I bet you didn't see this coming after years of Google domination. Yahoo is back as the top web property (in the U.S.). This comes from comScore Media Metrix, which releases monthly lists of the top 50 U.S. web properties. They just put out July's report, and there sits Yahoo right on top.
Are you surprised that Yahoo is ranking over Google? Do you believe Yahoo offers significant value to businesses? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Yahoo hasn't been at the top of the list for two years (yeah, it seems like even longer than that), but there it is, and guess what. It doesn't even include Tumblr traffic.
Yahoo properties, even without that, saw 196.6 million unique U.S. visitors during the month, compared to Google' s 192.3 million, even as Google continues do dominate the search market by a much wider margin. If you want to count Tumblr, you can add another 38.3 million unique users.
Just look at that chart for a moment, and take it in. Look at how much higher Yahoo is than Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, eBay, etc. Twitter is all the way down at 30, below even Tumblr. Suffice it to say, Yahoo is huge.
Greg Sterling at Marketing Land shares this statement from a comScore spokesperson: "Tumblr is not currently included in the Yahoo! Sites roll-up. Seems there are other factors at play, and given how close Yahoo Sites and Google have been in recent months it can likely just be normal seasonal/month-to-month fluctuations."
Regardless of whether or not this is simply month-to-month, the fact that it's even in a constant race with Google should say something.
It's certainly worth noting that these numbers don't take mobile traffic into account, but mobile is exactly where Yahoo has been focusing the majority of its efforts since former Googler Marissa Mayer took over as CEO last year.
In fact, it's hard not to assume that Mayer's presence has been a key contributor to Yahoo's rise back to the top. I don't think many would argue that Yahoo's properties were generally stagnant for quite a while before Mayer arrived. Since she arrived, Yahoo has been rolling out major redesigns of its key products, like search, its homepage, Yahoo Mail and Flickr.
Some of these redesigns have been more popular than others. Even after two months, we still continue to see a great deal of negative commentary from Yahoo Mail users about the redesign, though the fact that it has inspired so much passionate outrage should say something itself. Users care about Yahoo Mail.
On the email side of things, Yahoo is doing even more to get users interested, offering up old out-of-use addresses and Yahoo IDs to users, so they can get better names. This move, however, has been controversial, as security experts have taken issue with it.
Apart from all the redesigns, Yahoo has been acquiring properties left and right, even at a higher pace than Google, who has historically been very acquisition-happy. Many of these acquisitions should only translate to more users, and Tumblr is the big one.
Obviously a great deal of Google's users come from search, and Google has the advantage of its Chrome browser's address bar (or omnibox, if you will) pointing users directly to Google properties every time they get on the Internet. Add YouTube into the mix, and Yahoo's presence on the list ahead of Google is all the more impressive, even without the high search market share Google holds.
Still, Yahoo hopes to snag a little bit of that Chrome search usage, as just last week, the company launched a revamped toolbar, making it available for Chrome for the first time. Of course, that doesn't only take people to Yahoo search, but also to other popular Yahoo properties.
If mobile traffic were included in the numbers, Google would likely see a significant bump in its rankings, though I wonder how mobile Google+ use stacks up to mobile Tumblr use. YouTube is another story.
Yahoo is on a mission to emerge from the perception that it is a dinosaur of the Internet. The above numbers are a good sign, as is the the Tumblr acquisition, but the company is also undergoing a rebranding process. We're currently in the middle of a period in which Yahoo is testing out a different logo every day before it assesses feedback and ultimately chooses a fresh look.
A regular point of criticism against the company is that that they have the traffic, but aren't monetizing it well enough. Well, they're working on it. It didn't take long for more ads to hit Tumblr, for example.
A quarter of a million new blogs are being set up each day on Tumblr, Mayer said on a recent earnings call. She also hinted at pending Tumblr integrations into Yahoo products. Daily active users were up 120% across mail applications, she said.
The company recently announced new ad formats - stream ads in the Yahoo News stream, and a billboard ad on the homepage. Yahoo has also been increasing its content partnerships with brands like ABC News, CNBC, Condé Nast, Broadway Video, and NBC.
Yahoo's lead as the top U.S. web property should be considered a big deal to advertisers, plain and simple.
Businesses in general should also take note, and consider ways to reach this enormous audience. Google certainly has the search market share, but there are still a lot of people searching with Yahoo/Bing. Yahoo Mail is clearly still a big portion of the email market, and Google is only making it harder for marketers to get their messages seen in Gmail.
196.6 million people (remember, that's just the U.S. audience) is a lot of traffic, and traffic on the web flows. Not all of it, but some of that is going to flow to other businesses like yours if you make the efforts to take advantage of the opportunities where they're presented, whether that be search, mail, shopping, or wherever.
You might want to take a look at what Yahoo offers at its Yahoo Small Business site, which includes domains, email, hosting, ecommerce, advertising tools, APIs and other resources. Here's a list of Yahoo's sites and services. When was the last time you considered how you could take advantage of what Yahoo has to offer on the web? The fact that Yahoo is the top web property should be a wake up call.
Do you plan on re-evaluating your online strategy in light of Yahoo's impressive numbers? Are you already seeing benefits from Yahoo? Let us know in the comments.
Image: World Economic Forum (Flickr/Wikimedia Commons)