A Little Perspective on Yahoo, Google and MSN

Researching some general numbers on the top online properties using Alexa and Compete is usually not the most interesting of tasks. While it is generally understood that search engines rank at the top of most lists in terms of a domain’s popularity, a little further breakdown provides some interesting data.

While Google receives more unique visitors in a month, Yahoo far outpaces it in terms of attention (percent of time spent at the site). Given the nature of both sites, this comes as no surprise. Nearly half of all Yahoo traffic goes to the mail subdomain (only a quarter for Google). Google on the other hand receives over half of its traffic to the main search page (Yahoo receives 10-20%). In comparison, Yahoo receives a greater percentage of traffic to its other bits and parts with news, 360, finance, answers, tw and groups all receive over 1% of the traffic. Google on the other hand receives very little traffice (as a percentage of the total) to its bits and pieces with the highly awaited Knol receiving 0.0% according to Alexa.

What I found most interesting was the presence of MSN. While currently listed as the sixth most popular online site in the world (receiving 88M unique visitors a month), the subdomain breakdown shows that the majority of the traffic goes to the IE installer subdomain (http://runonce.msn.com). 19.6% of all traffic is routed to this domain with 19.1% going to msn.com. This indicates that more individuals are installing IE in a given month than using the service as a whole.

Given the current debate over whether a browser is becoming a platform, does this bode well or not for MSN? On the one hand, they are benefiting from owning the technology. On the other hand, they are desperately lacking in terms of the content.

Nothing more for now. Just found it interesting and wanted to note it.

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