MySpace accounted for 4.46 percent of all Internet visits in the U.S. for the week ending July 8, 2006. In fact, MySpace drew more online visitors than Yahoo or Yahoo Mail last week, Hitwise reported.
“We are still discovering the Internet laws of gravity as it relates to a site’s potential to grow on the Internet,” said Bill Tancer, general manager of global research at Hitwise. “The fact that MySpace was virtually unknown by the mainstream Internet users two years ago and now claims the top position demonstrates how hyper-competitive the Internet really is.”
Yahoo is taking the matter personally, however, and is up in arms over how the results were tallied. The search giant called the Hitwise ranking “misleading” because it considered its domains — such as search, news and e-mail — individually rather than combining them under one unified brand name.
Yahoo maintains Hitwise cannot accurately compare MySpace traffic to Yahoo.com and Yahoo Mail. Interestingly, however, MySpace also has an e-mail site that Hitwise ranked separately from its main site.
“When taking into account all of Yahoo’s domains together as an entire network, Yahoo clearly remains the number one property in terms of audience share, duration share, page view share and days visited per month,” Yahoo said in a statement.
By its own count, Yahoo calculated 129 million unique visitors in the United States during the week of July 8. Yahoo contends that it is the world’s most trafficked Internet destination, with 500 million visitors monthly.
Defending Its Stats
Hitwise is offering clarity on its rankings. The table included in its press release listed the ranked order of sites based on market share of the individual domains and subdomains as reported from its data, the company said.
“Hitwise ranks over 500,000 Web sites on a daily basis, including individual sites as well as the domains and subdomains of larger sites. The press release we issued on July 12 included the top 10 domains. At no time did we represent all MySpace properties compared to all Yahoo properties. The table included in the press release listed the ranked order,” Hitwise spokesperson Matt Tatham told TechNewsWorld.
Apples to Apples
Compared to other social networking sites, MySpace’s lead is undisputed. In that category, MySpace accounts for 79.97 percent of online visits. Second-place Facebook claims only 7.58 percent of the traffic, Hitwise reports.
“MySpace continues its meteoric rise, to now claim the number one spot for all Internet visits in the United States,” Tancer said.
Xanga.com boasted a 3.8 percent traffic share, followed by 360.yahoo.com at 1.13 percent.
Other players in this crowded space, such as Bebo.com, Tagged.com, Classmates.com and Spaces.MSN.com, have less than 1 percent of total online social networking traffic, according to Hitwise.