Time Spent Per Website Favors Yahoo Over Google

The folks at Compete have some fascinating new data out comparing major web properties on the basis of time  per site. By that measure, which is a truer media measure, Myspace is out in front, with Yahoo somewhat further back, and Google trailing in fifth place.

As the Compete folks point out, the top twenty domains capture 39% of our online time, and only 2.1% of online time gets spent at Google. The latter is a function of the relatively low penetration of Gmail, with Google being more of an information transactional site — I want this, where is it — than a time-consuming site.

Taking a somewhat different perspective, it is another good reason why Yahoo has so much leverage in 2007. With the company so far out in front of Google in terms of time spent on Yahoo properties, it comes down to monetization — Yahoo has the audience, it now has to do something with it.


  1. Paul, I hear what you are saying…but that is Web 1.0 thinking. Time on site and page views don’t necessarily translate to revenue.
    I call that junk traffic…it isn’t monetizable in any significant way. Yahoo only gets about 11% of its traffic from search, while Google gets 88% from search result pages.Search result pages generate very high PPC rates.
    Yahoo gets 33% of its page views on Yahoo Mail where at best you can sell low margin CPM ads. Another 32% is hits on the Yahoo home page…again, not targeted so all you can do is sell CPM banner ads.
    I wrote an in depth story on this complete with the traffic breakdowns by source. The title was “Why Yahoos Panama won’t be enough”. See http://dondodge.typepad.com/the_next_big_thing/2006/12/why_yahoos_pana.html
    Don Dodge

  2. I know what you’re saying Don, and you have a point about the home page, but I don’t buy that Yahoo mail has to be CPM only. Why can’t it have targeted ads? As Gmail has demonstrated, targeted ads in mail work. And while we’re on the subject, why can’t Flickr have the same thing? It’s tagging makes it eminently targetable.

  3. >>>…another good reason why Yahoo has so much leverage in 2007.
    But didn’t Yahoo have just as much or more leverage in ’06, ’05, ’04… etc? What’s different now?
    It still all rides on the effectiveness of Panama.

  4. Paul, That is the $64M question. Will advertisers pay PPC rates to be on email pages, photo pages, or video pages? How effective will the targeting be, and how much will advertisers be willing to pay?
    This is the main issue I had with the YouTube valuation. How effectively can they sell ads against these bizarre, sometimes gross or risque videos?
    I know the concept behind Gmail was to scan the body of the email and target an ad based on the content, but that just sounds creepy to me. I don’t use Gmail so I have no idea how effective it has been in terms of revenue rates or making users feel at ease.
    Flickr presents the same issue. Yes they have tags but how effective and accurate will those tags be in terms of targeting and selling ads? I don’t know.
    If advertising gets targeted based on tags look out for future tag spamming…big time. Click fraud is a problem, but tag spamming would be 10 times worse.
    There is a lot of money at stake so some smart people will figure this out. It is just a question of how much advertising dollar yield they can generate from all this traffic. Time will tell, but I am skeptical.
    Don Dodge

  5. This is nuts, because it misses what has made Google into the company Yahoo is falling farther and farther behind.
    Marissa Mayer in today’s Search Engine Land:
    “Our goal is to make sure that people can find what they’re looking for and get off the page as quickly as possible.”

  6. Sandy Kory says:

    A point for Yahoo’s leverage–email account providers grossly undermonetize user inboxes by relying soley on CPM ads. Right under their collective nose is a monetization opportunity similar to search–the email inbox, where (like search), users interface with a mix of paying and non-paying emailers (a mix similar to the mix of of paying advertisers and non-paying publshers seen in search).
    The paying emailers are often paying a lot to be there (like a search advertiser often does), b/c targeted opt-in email can be a direct marketer’s dream. Of course, the emailers are paying email list brokers and other intermediaries, not email account providers. But email providers like Yahoo should figure it out and start tapping the rich mine of user attention generated by millions of inboxes beyond cheap, barely-targeted banner ads.

  7. Getting away from the Google/Yahoo analysis, is anybody else surprised to see “BankofAmerica.com” in this list?
    It feels like a Sesame Street “which one of these doesn’t belong” episode. On the other hand, it woke me up to how powerful BOA really is.

  8. Time on a site, like number of pageviews per user, can be good and bad. If they’re high because the user is lost, that’s bad. If they’re high because the user is into the content, that’s good. Yahoo! has great content and I think that’s what they should be focusing on. To do otherwise would be to go head to head with Google, which hasn’t worked so well.