There must be plenty of "Yahoos!" at Yahoo headquarters now that the latest metrics from industry research firm comScore show the search and Web content giant at No. 1 in the U.S. for July. With 194,564,000 visitors, Yahoo sites edged out the reigning champ, Google, at 192,251,000.
That gives the company that got a makeover under new CEO Marissa Mayer an 87 percent share of unique visits by the 225 million Internet users measured by comScore's Media Metrix service. The last time Yahoo was No. 1 was in May 2011, before Mayer's tenure.
The rest of the top 10 in Wednesday's report were Microsoft, with nearly 180 million unique visitors; social media giant Facebook, with more than 142 million visitors; AOL, with more than 117 million; retailer Amazon, with about 110 million visitors; Glam Media, with about 90 million; Wikimedia, publisher of the Wikipedia digital encyclopedia, with more than 83 million visitors; CBS Interactive, with more than 81 million; and Turner Digital, with more than 70 million.
Leader In Ad Focus, Too
Among other top Web sites, career network LinkedIn was at No. 20; Netflix was at No. 36; and topic-based social network Pinterest was at No. 49.
Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo also ranked in first place in ad focus, with its ads reaching 87.2 percent of its visitors, slightly ahead of ShareThis and Outbrain and well ahead of Google's 80.6 percent.
The metrics from comScore register home, work and university locations.
The biggest gain in Web traffic for the month was in services and coupons, which saw a 16 percent rise over June numbers, as did sites related to lifestyles and beauty. In good economic news, sites that sell jewelry and luxury goods also saw a 16 percent increase. General retail goods sites saw a 12 percent rise. The increase in online shopping was attributed by comScore to back-to-school preparations.
Gay and lesbian lifestyle sites also saw a rise in traffic, likely due to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage at the end of June.
Mayer, 38, joined Google in 1999 and rose through the ranks before she was lured away and hired as CEO and president at Yahoo on July 16, 2012. She has invested heavily in redesigning the company's sites and demands a devoted work ethic, making headlines by barring employees from working at home.
Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, said Yahoo now has several factors working in its favor.
"First and foremost, the revitalization of Yahoo properties -- new, sleeker designs, etc. -- have freshened up the site considerably and thus helped it differentiate positively against competitors like MSN and AOL," King told us.
"Second, Marissa Mayer has been an effective 'public face' for Yahoo at a time when recognizable IT industry leaders seem split between legendary geezers such as Microsoft's Steve Ballmer and callow youths like Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg."
King said Mayer's message that new and interesting things are happening at Yahoo is reflected in comScore's numbers, showing that people are checking it out.