Here's Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney's analysis of the ComScore February Top 20 Web Sites unique visitor data:
1. Yahoo! remained the #1 site in January in terms of monthly visitors and recorded 120MM visitors, up 3.5% Y/Y and down 4.9% M/M. For context, Yahoo!’s Y/Y user growth was below the market’s at 4.2%. A modestly negative Dpoint.
2. MSN-Microsoft was the #2 site (it moved to the #2 spot for the first time in November) with 110.7MM unique, up 0.2% Y/Y and down 4.3% M/M. We note that MSN’s Y/Y growth rate was the 7th lowest among the Top 20. Further, MSN’s visitor growth rate has been lower than the market’s for each of the past six months. A negative Dpoint.
3. TimeWarner Network trended at 110.4MM visitors (slipped down to the #3 site in November), down 1.6% Y/Y and down 4.4% M/M. For context, TimeWarner’s growth rate has been lower than the market’s for each of the past six months. This is a negative Dpoint.
4. Google was the #4 site and reached a record high 94.6MM visitors, up 27% Y/Y (2nd highest organic growth among Top-20) and up 0.6% M/M. We reiterate our belief that while Google doesn’t have the visitor base of the top three properties, with its materially higher growth rate, it seems likely to reach the Big Three levels in less than a year. There continues to be a lot of momentum here...a positive Dpoint.
5. Among the Top-20 properties, the companies with the highest Y/Y organic growth rates were Apple Computer (59%), Google (276%), and Amazon.com (11%).