Combined Yahoo, Microsoft Would Make Web Powerhouse – but Not in Search (Updated)

February 1, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Email | Paid Search

In the wake of the announcement that Microsoft has made an unsolicited bid to buy Yahoo, Hitwise’s Bill Tancer takes a look at the top web properties of the two companies, as well as rival Google’s, breaking down their respective share of US visits.

The combined market share of visits for Microsoft and Yahoo would be 15.6% of all internet visits, with Google at 7.7%, for the week ended January 26, Hitwise found.

The combined content of Yahoo and MSN properties would result in an impressive list of top sites by industry category, according to the analysis; Yahoo accounted for the most-visited sites in six categories for the week ended Jan. 26:


However, in terms of US search volume, Google accounts for 66%, whereas combined Yahoo and MSN Search volume would total 28%, according to December’s search share data from Hitwise:


Yahoo Top Ad Publisher, with 19% Share of Online Display Ads

Meanwhile, comScore released top US internet properties based on the number of display ad impressions delivered, showing that Yahoo Sites were the top display ad publisher property in November, with 18.8% of display ad views. (Nielsen also issued similar – and a host of other – info. See below.)

Fox Interactive (16.3%) was next, followed by Microsoft Sites (6.7%), Time Warner Network (5.8%) and (1.5%).

Combined, Yahoo and Microsoft would account for 25.5% of US display ad impressions delivered:


Nearly half (49.1%) of all display ads seen by US internet users originate on only five properties, illustrating the concentration of advertising among a few properties, according to comScore Ad Metrix, which provides a profile of online display ad views for advertisers and publishers.

Of the top 20 ad publishers, Fox Interactive served the most display ads per user visit to its sites (47.5), a particularly high number that is a function of both site engagement and how many ads are displayed per page.  Bebo (27.2), CBS Sports (22.6), Viacom Digital (20.6) and Yahoo Sites (20.5) each served an average of more than 20 display ads per user visit.

Display ads are defined by comScore as any rich media or static images that are served and loaded into a web browser, but do not include video streams, text or paid search ad impressions.

Nielsen Roundup of Top Global and US Web Properties – and Yahoo/Microsoft Buzz

“The combined entity (Microsoft and Yahoo) would be visited by 86% of US internet users, account for 15% of all time spent online, and represent 59% of online display ad impressions sold, really the most significant revenue generator today for most online publishers,” said Ken Cassar, vice-president, industry solutions analytics, Nielsen Online.

Pete Blackshaw, EVP, Nielsen Online strategic services, said: “The proposed transaction…would give Microsoft one of the industry’s strongest portfolios in the growing social-media space that would include FlickR, Delicious and Yahoo Answers, alongside its investment in Facebook.”

Online Buzz


Global Web Traffic


US Web Traffic


Image-based Online Advertising


Search-based Online Advertising


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