Compete Data Shows Facebook Has Raced by Yahoo

Compete’s data for January shows that Facebook has moved ahead of Yahoo in the pecking order of Internet traffic giants. Eleven months after losing first place to Google, Yahoo (132 million unique visitors) has ceded second place to Facebook and its 133.6 million uniques.

The social media kingpin has made quick work of whizzing past Yahoo and into the rearview mirror of Google (147.8 million uniques in January). One year ago, the Palo Alto, CA-based Facebook had less than 70 million uniques, while Yahoo had roughly the same number it holds now, according to Kantar-owned Compete.

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The Boston-based research firm also found that Facebook gets the nod over Google and Yahoo when it comes to user engagement. Last month, 11.6 percent of time spent on the entire Web centered on Facebook, while Yahoo clocked in at 4.25 percent and Google at 4.1 percent. A year ago, Yahoo was the categorical leader at more than 5 percent, while Facebook trailed slightly and Google received generally the same stat line it does today.

Nielsen’s time spent data favors Facebook even more. Users of the social site averaged seven hours last month compared to two-hours-and-29 minutes for Yahoo and two-hours-and-five minutes for Google, according to the New York-based researcher.

Meanwhile, both Nielsen and comScore haven’t been as quick to anoint Facebook as it pertains to unique visitors. ComScore reports that Facebook accrued only 112.4 million uniques in January, with both Google (174.2 million uniques) and Yahoo (164 million) beating that number. Nielsen’s January uniques stack up similarly when it comes to these three particular companies: Google (162.5 million), Yahoo (138.9 million), and Facebook (116.3 million).*

One reason why the research firms’ figures can differ noticeably is the way they calculate their totals. In one example, Reston, VA-based comScore and Nielsen include some “roll-up” properties/different domains like Flickr in its tallies for Yahoo, while Compete, on the other hand, treats them separately.

*UPDATE: This article has been updated to correct the time spent on Yahoo and Google and unique visitors on these sites. The original article included incorrect data inadvertently provided by Nielsen.

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