This may surprise no one: Google is the leading source of traffic for 23 of the top 30 websites. That’s according to Citi analyst Mark Mahaney in a document released yesterday to clients.
Based on underlying comScore data, the report analyzes visits to the top five websites in several verticals: Media, Retail, Travel, Auto, Finance and Health. It doesn’t discuss the impact or relative position of Facebook at all, possibly because Facebook is not yet a public company.
Mahaney points out that Google’s retention of the position of top traffic referrer is an accomplishment in a marketplace that is so “fluid” and intensely competitive.
The report has a number of key findings, which I’ve distilled here:
Google ranked as the #1 source of traffic for 23 of the top 30 Websites. “By contrast, the #2 (Yahoo!) and #3 (Microsoft) influencers accounted for 11 percent and 6 percent of traffic to the top 30 Websites.”
Google’s “influence is [very slowly] slipping”: Mahaney said that “Google has gone from delivering 17 percent of all the traffic to the top 30 Websites in 2010 and 2011 to 16 percent in 2012.” The one vertical studied in which Google’s influence has waned considerably is Heath (see chart above).
Yahoo and Microsoft’s traffic is flat: the report said that “Yahoo!’s and Microsoft’s share of traffic “has remained essentially flat from 2010 to 2012.” This is regarded as a surprise on both counts.
Mahaney said that flat traffic is positive for Yahoo given the market’s perception of the company/site as a “deteriorating asset.” By contrast this is “arguably something of a negative surprise [for Microsoft] . . . given signs of Bing Search market share gains.”