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Summary:

Sure, Yahoo might be second in search (which is still, in and of itself, pretty good), but the company is far from a has-been — I know a ton of startups that would kill for the eyeballs that it snags in many of its market categories, […]

yahoologoSure, Yahoo might be second in search (which is still, in and of itself, pretty good), but the company is far from a has-been — I know a ton of startups that would kill for the eyeballs that it snags in many of its market categories, and some established companies (Google, AOL, Microsoft, to name a few) that would love them, too.

In CEO Carol Bartz, Yahoo finally has a messenger: someone to remind the world that there is more to the company than just search. In a May 2009 interview with CNBC Silicon Valley bureau chief Jim Goldman, Bartz got heated when he said something about Yahoo “picking up the scraps in the marketplace“:

We aren’t picking anything up…We are the market we are in. We are very very good in providing people with the information and content they need. We are not a search company…You don’t go to Google to find out what’s happening in the financial world. You don’t go to Google to connect up with groups that you are interested in. You don’t go to Google to get the headline news of the moment. That’s not what happens there…We’ve got the No. 1 finance site, news site, sports site, No. 1 mail by two times in the world, our Messenger is big, Answers we are No. 1.

Well, OK then. Just how big are Yahoo’s various properties? We reached out to comScore to get some idea on how dominant the company is in its various markets:

  • Yahoo News is the No. 1 news and information site in the country, with more than 50 million monthly unique readers, ahead of The New York Times network’s 45 million.
  • Yahoo Finance has more than 20 million monthly unique readers, well ahead of AOL Money’s 14 million.
  • Yahoo Sports beats the competition with almost 25 million monthly users. ESPN is No. 2 with 21 million.
  • Yahoo’s OMG! entertainment page scored more than double the traffic — more than 20 million monthly unique users — of its nearest competitor, AOL’s TMZ, in May. TMZ had just shy of 10 million visitors.
  • Yahoo Games is in a near tie with EA Online, though it has strong tie-ins to EA’s video game franchises like the Sims 3. Both companies had more than 19 million unique visitors in June, with Nickelodeon Casual Games — a more direct Yahoo Games competitor — logging 17.5 million unique visitors.
  • Yahoo Mail demolishes the competition, grabbing two-thirds of the total webmail market with 103 million unique visitors. Hotmail had almost 48 million, with AOL and Google lagging behind with 38 million and 36 million visitors, respectively.
  • Flickr, Answers, Music, TV and Movies also do very well in their categories.

With all the focus on search, it’s easy to forgot that this is also what Microsoft was trying to buy in Yahoo. Here are the actual numbers from a few choice categories:

News/Information Total Unique Visitors
Yahoo! News 51,192,000
New York Times Digital 44,789,000
CNN 35,119,000
News/Research Total Unique Visitors
Yahoo! Finance 20,083,000
AOL Money & Finance 14,058,000
MSN Money 11,240,000
Sports Total Unique Visitors
Yahoo! Sports 24,776,000
ESPN 20,984,000
FOXSports.com on MSN 12,576,000
Email Total Unique Visitors
Yahoo! Mail 103,755,000
Windows Live Hotmail 47,709,000
AOL Email 38,057,000
Google Gmail 36,649,000

(All data courtesy of ComScore, and is valid for June 2009, unless otherwise stated.)

  1. My only problem with yahoo is that they are too slow in bring new things to market. As an example yahoo finance has been the same for the past few years and even though Google finance provide real time quotes, yahoo still give you quote which are 15 minutes too late. As another example, it took us (binfire.com) no time to get an adsense account from Google. We tried for months with yahoo, but there was no answer and nobody to talk too!

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    1. Yahoo Finance provides realtime quotes on each individual stock page.

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    2. If you would have called the Search Marketing sales line on the search marketing page on Yahoo you would have gotten an answer you have to look for the info it’s there.

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  2. Yes Yahoo is still No.1 but in search engine it is going down because Microsoft’s Bing is flying with powerful wings.Microsoft stated that Bing users score increased and grabbed the new market up to 8% and yahoo lost user score in search engine market.

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    1. Bing gained 0.4% market share with all that marketing. Yahoo lost 0.5%. Yahoo still has almost 20% market share. I’d hardly call that Bing “flying with powerful wings”…

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    2. Sounds like you work for Microsoft?

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    3. Way to totally miss the point of this article.

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  3. Yahoo provided me with my first experiment with – and consistent use – of web-based email. When I began experimenting with gmail, I learned you could get rid of the spam. Never looked back after that.

    I just wandered to my Yahoo email address to see if it was still alive? It is – probably because of a couple other features I touch base with occasionally at Yahoo.

    370 pieces of spam in the Inbox.

    No thanks.

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    1. It’s interesting. I have same mail acct at yhoo for ten years anda I have no spam at all.

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      1. 370 spam emails after you hadn’t checked it for a long enough period of time that you didn’t even know if it still existed? That really doesn’t seem like a lot of spam to me…

        Yahoo Mail does have anti-spam features and you can get rid of just as much spam as on Gmail. You will always get some spam at any email address, no matter where you get your email.

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    2. Roshan Shrestha Thursday, July 16, 2009

      I have Yahoo and Gmail account. Yes, my Yahoo account gets more spam, though nowadays much less than what it was getting before.

      However, I have had Yahoo account since the early 90s! and those days I used to give out my Yahoo email address to any web site I signed up for. I am careful to not divulge my gmail account. Spammers have gotten my Yahoo email address and I think this explains why people get more spam in their Yahoo account – they have had it far longer than their Gmail account.

      Try giving out your Gmail account when registering with sites and watch more of the spam come in.

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    3. Spam doesn’t get to my yahoo mail inbox. The spam filtering there is as good as in my gmail account ( I have both accounts and both are active)

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  4. My only problem with Yahoo! is that the Yahoo! Answers section is completely unhelpful. I guess that’s what makes it so funny! Check out this website:

    http://www.snarkyanswers.com.

    These responses are hysterical! And if you think those are funny, get the book “Snarky Responses to Yahoo! Answers.” You will laugh until your sides hurt.

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    1. If that’s your biggest problem with Yahoo! (what is Answers, like their 20th most important property?), then there’s not much of a problem. Yahoo Answers is extremely helpful if you know how to use it, and the information is just as good as any user-driven information database.

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  5. [...] there’s GigaOM to reminds us that the second most popular search company is still first in news and mail, and has other enviable [...]

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  6. It’s great to finally read a article that shows the power of Yahoo!. I have had a Yahoo mail account for a while now and, I admit, I do get some spam. Other than that I love Yahoo mail.

    People need to understand that Yahoo! is not a search engine, its a web portal. People come to Yahoo! to start their day off by reading the news, finance, sports, etc. You go to Google to search something or read your email. Bing is a joke and will fizzle out once Microsoft stops spending millions on a PR campaign. They gained .4% market share, that’s nothing in comparison to Google and Yahoo!’s share. “Flying with powerful wings?” Ha, that’s a real joke. Clearly you fell for that marketing campaign.

    So many web companies would love to get the amount of eyes that Yahoo! gets everyday. Clearly the company is doing something right, granted the stock price isn’t the best but this company has a lot of potential.

    Glad to see Carol putting her foot down with the constant comparison to Google.

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  7. expatcatalyst Thursday, July 16, 2009

    Gave up on Yahoo long ago….

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    1. Well that’s your problem, no one elses.

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  8. Jordan, here’s your next assignment. Go and ask CEO Bartz how many of these Yahoo applications she actually *uses* in her daily life, rather than just talk them up? My guess is, she doesn’t or not much.

    If she actually did use Yahoo mail, for example, she would see that its response performance often sucks because of the stupid banner-style advertising Yahoo still uses (which nobody pays attention to, Carol). On the other hand, searching your Yahoo mail for some obscure piece of text is generally lightning fast! This is an aspect that she should talk up but doesn’t, because she neither uses it nor understands it. There’s more to being a real CEO than talking tough.

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  9. The problem is not where they are today, but where they will be a few quarters from now. Yes they are ahead on mail.. but not long. Just look at what happened to mapquest.

    Yahoo to me represents the best of ideas – searchmonkey, search API, fireeagle… but after they come up with the idea they start snoring! Yahoo messenger was light years ahead of competition, but then what happened? I have no idea why they cant innovate after the v1.0 is out. If anything they need Chief Product v2.0 officer! (Yeah with all the product managers that they have onboard)

    I just wish they could connect the dots & make their products stick! Atleast start sourcing ideas from your users and reward them! Even better hire your users!

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  10. [...] Following on closely my post on Tuesday – Users Spending More Time on Yahoo than Google – GigaOM have given some reasons for exactly why people use Yahoo! so much. With statistics made available [...]

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