Microsoft is tops in Web traffic in December

Microsoft leads in Web site visitors globally, but its online ad business is struggling.

Microsoft drew the largest number of Web site visitors worldwide in December, a recurring accomplishment that makes the company's disappointing online ad business all the more disconcerting.

Close to 509 million unique visitors, ages 15 and up, went to Microsoft Web sites in December, comScore Networks said Wednesday. Google came in second with a little over 494 million, while Yahoo landed in third place with almost 477 million unique visitors.

Microsoft also led in March 2006, and its lead over Google was bigger. Microsoft had almost 539 million unique visitors to almost 496 million for Google. Third place went to Yahoo with little over 480 million.

However, the difference in online ad revenue between Microsoft and its two rivals is massive, a sign that, despite heavy investments in the past three years, Microsoft isn't close to matching their ability to monetize Web site traffic, especially Google's torrid growth in the search engine space.

In the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2006, Google's revenue, which comes mostly from search engine ads, grew 70 percent to US$2.69 billion, while Yahoo's revenue, mostly derived from various forms of online ads, came in at US$1.58 billion, up 19 percent. By comparison, in that same quarter, Microsoft's Online Services Business, which includes online ad and Internet access sales, generated only US$539 million in revenue, down from US$564 million in the same quarter the previous year.

Microsoft executives have acknowledged that the Achilles heel of its online ad business is its search engine segment. In December, Microsoft's share of U.S. search engine queries continued to fall, landing at 10.5 percent, a distant third place from leader Google, which nabbed 47.3 percent, comScore said in a separate study. In July 2005, Microsoft's U.S. search engine query share stood at 15.5 percent and Google's at 36.5 percent, according to comScore.

Overall, unique Web site visitors grew 10 percent globally from December 2005 to December 2006 to almost 741 million. Microsoft and Yahoo both grew 5 percent each. However, Google topped the market growth with a 13 percent increase, in part due to its international appeal and to the rising popularity of some of its non-Web search services, comScore said. For example, Google's image search engine grew its unique visitors by 40 percent, Gmail by 71 percent and Google Maps by 62 percent.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Shop safely with our award-winning security solution. Protect yourself this Black Friday and get the exclusive Black Friday discount for Bitdefender 2019!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?