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Google Tops Website Audience Rankings

While Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) may be gaining on Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) in market cap and growth rate, the search engine remains much larger in terms of total audience in the United States. That will, at least for now, give Google an advantage in revenue and its percentage of the overall online advertising market, which it has dominated for years.

According to new data from research firm comScore, in July, Google had an audience of 243 million unique visitors via desktops and mobile devices. The entire Internet audience was only slightly bigger, at 256 million. In other words, almost everyone online uses Google. Facebook ranks second with 214 million. Its global membership of 1.3 billion is heavily concentrated in the United States. That membership shows up in the comScore numbers.

The revenue yield from their audiences show another Google advantage. Its revenue in the most recently reported quarter was $17.7 billion. Facebook’s was $4.0 billion. At its current growth rate, it may have a chance to reach Google’s revenue level in four or five years.

Beyond Google and Facebook, Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) ranks third at 210 million. It continues to grapple with efforts to increase its revenue rapidly. Its $1.1 billion transaction to buy blogging site Tumblr is a sign that it means to use its balance sheet to expand via acquisitions and mergers.

Fourth on the list is Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), which is not only the leader in e-commerce by far, it also has begun services that may enhance its lead. These include local deliveries of groceries and rating of local goods and services for its users. Its audience was 187 million.

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Next on the list, in fifth place, is Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT), with an online amalgamation of people going to Microsoft.com and MSN, its portal. Its total audience was 178 million.

And the last of the three portals, AOL, ranks sixth with an audience of 174 million. That company recently sold itself to Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ). It is presumed that the Huffington Post is the primary driver of the AOL audience size.

For the time being, search is still the king of the Net.

By Douglas A. McIntyre


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