Yahoo! sites out-delivered Google sites in July by a little over 4 million unique visitors, pushing Google all the way down to, well, down to number two for the first time since May of 2011. This from the good folks at Comscore.
Some media outlets called the news “shocking” or “stunning,” revealing more about the journalistic mindset — that Google utterly dominates the worldwide web — than about business reality.
I’m more surprised that the pundits are surprised than by Yahoo’s win.
True, Google held the top spot in all but two months since 2008, an enviable accomplishment. A first place rank in any measure of business is nice, but unlike the Olympics, runners-up don’t go home after the medal ceremony. The contest never ends, and that means the margin of “victory” is really just a measure of how close competitors are at a particular point in time.
There are many potential reasons Yahoo may have had a good month, and the numbers are far too close to proclaim a changing of the guard. Yahoo’s new family member, Tumbler, was not included in the July tally, however, so an aberration in measurement methodology isn’t to blame.
I’m more surprised that the pundits are surprised than by Yahoo’s win. As Sbg noted in a 2010, December article, Google, and Google search in particular, shared the stage more than many consumers realized. Thirteen years after the dot.com bust, the search, web-content, and online industry models remain far from mature. That forces companies like Google to constantly try new approaches and tactics — even when following the adage “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” might seem wise.
The July, 2013 top five according to Comscore:
- Yahoo! Sites
- Google Sites
- Microsoft Sites
- AOL, Inc.
Don’t be too “shocked” if Yahoo! sites repeat the feat in August. If they do, we’ll dig a bit deeper to see if this blip signals a trend.
See the full July Comscore report