Yahoo Tops Google in U.S. Web Traffic

Yahoo topped Google in U.S. Web traffic in July, according to comScore’s monthly rankings.

The collection of sites operated by Yahoo, which includes the popular home page as well as sites for news, finance and sports, pulled in 196.6 million unique visitors last month, compared with 192.3 for Google sites. Microsoft, Facebook, and AOL rounded out the top five.

The last time Yahoo was number one was May 2011, comScore told the website Marketing Land, which earlier reported on the rankings.

These monthly lists tend to be a boring, and don’t necessarily reflect the underlying news or business of the companies. (See turmoil at AOL for an example.) But Yahoo winning this month’s king of the hill title was notable for two reasons.

First, the numbers don’t include traffic for Tumblr, which had its own place in the rankings down at No. 28 with 38.4 million visitors. Tumblr was basically a deal to bring aboard millions of new, young customers. Second, Yahoo’s achievement came even as its focus has been elsewhere, mainly a shopping spree to bulk up its engineering teams. Still, Chief Executive Marissa Mayer is putting effort into redesigning sites and apps like Flickr, Weather, Fantasy Sports and Mail — and the efforts have been well-received and seem to be paying off.

All of this said, a good point from Liz Gannes at All Things D: The comScore data don’t include mobile, an important and growing category that will only get more important in the coming years. That arrow is headed in one direction. Andrew Lipsman, a vice president at comScore, told Gannes that it’s possible Google will be back on top in the coming multiplatform rankings.

Monthly data metrics are hardly the stuff to cause handstands. Yahoo still has a raft of big challenges to overcome, such as monetizing all of that traffic and beating back perceptions that most of its value comes from its stakes in overseas Internet companies.

Still, this gives Yahoo another shot in the arm at a time when momentum and buzz are going its way.

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