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Google Reaches Second-Most Visited Site Status 191

Posted by Zonk
from the frequent-googing dept.
Another anonymous reader has written to mention a story carried by Bloomberg, which has the news that Google is the second-most visited site on the internet. This puts it out in front of Yahoo!, which previously held the position. Google is now just behind Microsoft which, as the submitter pointed out, is the site that IE defaults to. From the article: "Visitors to Google's sites rose 9.1 percent to 475.7 million in November from a year earlier, while those to Yahoo sites rose 5.2 percent to 475.3 million, ComScore Networks Inc. said today. Both sites trail Microsoft, which had 501.7 million visitors, ComScore said. It is the first time that Mountain View, California-based Google attracted more visitors than Yahoo, reflecting Google's growing popularity outside the U.S."
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Google Reaches Second-Most Visited Site Status

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  • Microsoft? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Do they mean MSN?
  • Microsoft must be saying, "What the heck should we do to come 1st?"

    I will admit: There's not a single day I do not visit http://www.google.com/ [google.com] at least four times.

    • They are probably saying nothing of the sort since they are the top ranked site and their hits are up by 3.3%.
    • by abscissa (136568)
      I'm at like 80 times a day for Slashdot (crackdot)...

      Consequently they won't let me moderate anymore... :-(
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by AchiIIe (974900)
      I agree, I would like to see this list
      According to: http://www.alexa.com/site/ds/top_500 [alexa.com]
      1) Yahoo
      2) Microsoft
      3) Google

      according to the article
      1) MSN
      2) Google
      3) Yahoo

      so the lists are ugh, exactly reversed?
      I'd love to know what methodology they used.
    • Now that Google is #2, it's time to drop it and move on to the next new (or old) search engine. Before Google, I remember using Webcrawler and later on Dogpile. So what's next?

      Which search engine do you think we should propel up the charts?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Cheapy (809643)
      Make their website the default one of Internet Explorer and have IE always send the first few packets of a session there?
    • I was musing about setting the default home page of our corporate users' browser to about:blank, just so that MSN wasn't getting every launch of IE from our internal workstations.

      Then I thought - the flood of L-user calls to the help desk complaining that the network was down... just wasn't worth it.
  • by ZahnRosen (1040004) on Saturday December 23, 2006 @11:37PM (#17351234) Homepage
    MS would never be in first place without the default page being set by them in IE. Personally, I never leave a computer set to MS as the homepage, I switch them to Google. :) I'd much rather look at that then MSN gossip.
    • by Timesprout (579035) on Saturday December 23, 2006 @11:47PM (#17351304)
      And the Firefox default to Google is not a false hit?
      • by faedle (114018) on Saturday December 23, 2006 @11:56PM (#17351344) Homepage Journal
        Perhaps it is, but people have to make a choice to install Firefox, where IE is the default browser for 95% of the computing populace. Most of the non-computer savvy people I know click the Big E on their desktop, and wait for the MSN page to load, and promptly hit whatever bookmark they wanted once the page loads: they don't actually use the MSN portal for anything.

        I'd figure a good chunk of the people who run Firefox change their 'home' bookmark almost immediately. I did, but granted that was right back to Google's personalized homepage...
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Timesprout (579035)
          people have to make a choice to install Firefox
          Absolutely but they are not installing Firefox just so they can have Google as their home page. Google are paying Mozilla for this to be the case, which ironically was an MS monopoly abuse when they released IE7 with MSN as the default but configurable search around here (even more interestingly MS has since changed it to Google).
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Just because IE is the default doesn't make MS its default: Google has been making deals with many OEM's (e.g. Dell, the #1) to have its toolbar preinstalled and default to its homepage (no doubt you've seen http://www.google.com/ig/dell [google.com]). I'd be curious just how many people that is, but throw in the 10-15% from Firefox and I'd bet it's over 50%.
        • Most of the non-computer savvy people I know click the Big E on their desktop, and wait for the MSN page to load, and promptly hit whatever bookmark they wanted once the page loads: they don't actually use the MSN portal for anything.

          I'm computer-savvy and use Firefox as my default (Windows) browser, but I still use IE occasionally for website testing, etc. I use it so rarely that I leave the MSN portal as the default. So I can attest to this behavior.
        • by drsquare (530038)
          That sounds like an OSS cop-out answer. How many people who read the Firefox advert in the NYT decided to change the homepage? Probably the same number who changed the IE homepage.

          Also interesting is how Konqueror on Mandriva still goes to a mandriva page even after you've changed it...
      • by dwater (72834)
        It doesn't default to Google on *my* computer. Perhaps that is the defaul on MS Windows - I get some Apple page...perhaps there's a reason for that (I don't think I set it manually, but it could have 'imported' it from Safari or something).
        • Can I ask you why you prefer Firefox to Safari? Whenever I try Firefox, it always seems to me that Safari is faster, cleaner, renders pages better, and integrates better with OS X technologies like the Keychain, not to mention generally behaves in a more Maclike way. And KHTML supports more CSS properties (text-shadow and display: block come to mind). What am I missing that's so great about Firefox?
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by strstrep (879828)
            It's all about the add-ons. Firefox add-ons [mozilla.org] give the browser extra functionality. I don't know if Safari has similar functionality (I am not an OS X user), but I'm pretty sure that the sheer number and diversity of add-ons for Firefox would be higher. I use lots of different plugins, from the download statusbar (I hate that download window) to the web developer plugin (great for lots of different things).

            Many people find adblock and noscript very useful. Don't forget about greasemonkey, which is helpful
            • Yeah, Safari has similar functionality [pimpmysafari.com]. Also, if you like Firefox's DOM Element Inspector, you really owe it to yourself to check out the element inspector [hicksdesign.co.uk] available in the latest nightly builds of WebKit. This thing is fucking amazing, and speaking for myself, I find it far more elegant, intuitive, and useful than aforementioned DOM Element Inspector.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by dwater (72834)
            1) I've always used Firefox, since before Safari appeared.
            2) I've tried safari. Not that much different, but I don't like some aspects of it. I forget all the reasons, but one of them is that the tabs each have 'x's on them, instead of one on the right, which doesn't fit into the way I view web pages (open many, reading one at a time, closing them as I go). Safari is usable, but I don't see any reason to change.
            3) I use Linux and MS Windows as well (at work), so Firefox provides some cross platform uniformi
            • by dangitman (862676)

              which doesn't fit into the way I view web pages (open many, reading one at a time, closing them as I go).

              CMD-W is much quicker for closing tabs and pages than mousing around for a close button.

              • by dwater (72834)
                a mouse click is only one action - if your finger is already on/near the button; which it is as, at the time, I am often scrolling down using the wheel.

                ctrl-w, while quick, also requires at least two fingers, and often both hands.

                having said that, I use ctrl-w on occasion too - works just fine in firefox too, it's just that firefox gives you the option (and I don't think Safari does, but I could be wrong).
            • "I use Linux and MS Windows as well (at work), so Firefox provides some cross platform uniformity... The argument that it integrates better doesn't work with me, since I don't much like OS X's interface."

              Dude, dumb question perhaps... but... if all this is the case, why are you even using a Mac at all?
              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by dwater (72834)
                Well, I had to use it for a few years to give it a chance, didn't I?

                I still don't like it, so, on my powerbook at least, I've switched to ubuntu. That has it's problems too, but at least the UI is flexible enough for me to get it working that way I want. You see, I'm used to using SGI IRIX 4Dwm, with many years of using it. I've given Apple's UI a chance, and I still find it doesn't work very well, so I've switched to Ubuntu for most work. I'm told that even MS Windows allows you to change it's behaviour to
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by ZahnRosen (1040004)
        Good point... seems a bit more fair when the underdog does it though, doesn't it? lol...
    • I wonder if Micro$loth is also including hits to windowsupdate.microsoft.com [microsoft.com]? Certainly, with all the windows PCs constantly hitting that server looking for updates, many of them automatically and without the user's active knowledge, it would rank quite highly.
    • Most people do not want to look at MSN.

      They do not know how to change the home page, or regard it as too much work.
  • Why so late? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Esteanil (710082) on Saturday December 23, 2006 @11:38PM (#17351242) Homepage Journal
    The only thing I'm wondering is what the hell took them so long.

    Google is still (IMO) the best search engine out there.
    Also, they make sure to attract the tech-savvy amongst us by being open-source friendly, adding lots of niche searches, their "Don't be evil"-motto, and being for so many of us the place we dream to work.
    Sure, every now and then someone questions their "Don't be evil" policy, but compared to at least MS they win hands down. And Yahoo just isn't relevant, at least to me.

    In short: Other search engines do marketing, Google goes viral in the very best way: By being the best, and giving us what we want.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by eMbry00s (952989)
      They have no monopoly to leverage, they have made no direct commercials (though that doesn't mean their marketers have a low budget).
    • Re:Why so late? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Reality Master 101 (179095) <RealityMaster101&gmail,com> on Sunday December 24, 2006 @12:35AM (#17351538) Homepage Journal

      The only thing I'm wondering is what the hell took them so long.

      Keep in mind this is comparing domain traffic. Yahoo is much broader than Google in terms of services.

      • by dynamo52 (890601)
        The only thing I'm wondering is what the hell took them so long.

        Keep in mind this is comparing domain traffic. Yahoo is much broader than Google in terms of services.

        That is a very good point. Many of my clients use yahoo mail and search because that was what was installed when they contracted their SBC (now ATT) service. Like many AOL users, it is all they have ever known.

  • Since last time I looked (a few weeks ago) Yahoo had a reasonable advantage. Then I thought Christmas shopping, I know how I start looking for gifts, ideas and the stores to purchase from. It will be interesting to see if Google maintain this after the holiday period. What I did find a tad curious with the numbers are the youtube figures, massive increase, but I will stick by my initial opinion that this is a Titanic for the moment.
  • by gulfan (524955) on Saturday December 23, 2006 @11:45PM (#17351286)
    History is to be made, bring out the wget, bring out the sticky F5 keys, tonight is the night - Google becomes one.
  • As the article has correctly pointed out, IE's browser defaults to Microsoft's page. A similarity to Netscape back in the hayday.

    Nobody can mistake Google's dominance over the Internet, its popularity is dictated (for right or wrong) by its rich source of search tools. They saw the importance of search over all the other providers.

    The old saying "if you build it, they will come" rings true here, Google have not only done very well in search, but have captured a large chunk of web based email.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Shabbs (11692)
      So, when an IE user who has not modified their default home page wants to do a search on Google, it's first a hit against Microsoft (which they had no intention of using) when they start up IE, then a hit against Google (which they did intend to use).

      I wonder what the stats would be if they pulled out the "initial default page" hits.

      Cheers.
  • IE defaults (Score:3, Insightful)

    by towsonu2003 (928663) on Sunday December 24, 2006 @12:14AM (#17351462)
    Google is now just behind Microsoft which, as the submitter pointed out, is the site that IE defaults to.
    Sometimes I just don't get it. Why wouldn't you change the default homepage of your browser? Is Microsoft that interesting?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Cheapy (809643)
      To the average Joe Consumer, it has everything they need. Small snippets of news, sports stuff, stock things.

      People also might not know how to change it.
    • There's a lot of people out there in the Intarweb that don't have the slightest idea that you can change your startpage and most of them are using IE.
  • by SeaFox (739806) on Sunday December 24, 2006 @12:18AM (#17351472)
    The submitter points out that Microsoft comes up first but it is also the default home page for IE.

    But Google is preset as the home page on Firefox.

    When Apple was shipping Macs with Netscape Navigator preinstalled, they defaulted to an Apple-themed Netscape news page. People using AT&T DSL are getting routed to a Yahoo page quite often thanks to the SBC/Yahoo marketting partnership. Lots of people leave the homepage to whatever their ISP's software sets up. I've had people call me because they lost their homepage (it got hijacked, kids changed it, whatever) and they want assistance changing it back. When we gets to the point where it's time to type in the address, they ask me what they need to put in. I tell them whatever they want to come up and they don't have a clue, many think the homepage s part of their ISP settings so to have AOL coming up instead of ______ means they're now on AOL. Few of them seem to actually use their home page, it's just what comes up and then they go where they want to from there.

    To really make these figures more accurate, we would need to sets everyone's homepage to (blank) and make them all reset it, but you would still have people setting it back to things they don't use because "that's how it was before".
    • But Google is preset as the home page on Firefox. ... To really make these figures more accurate, we would need to sets everyone's homepage to (blank)

      Is Google the default homepage of Firefox? I thought it was the Mozilla page. Most GNU/Linux distros do exactly what you want, they have a local start page which is a file on the system. With free software, the default is what the last person to build it says it is. Many will leave the project defaults alone, some will not, then users will almost alway

      • by dangitman (862676)

        Most GNU/Linux distros do exactly what you want, they have a local start page which is a file on the system.

        Why is that what I want? I often open the browser as a means to check that I have HTTP access. Opening up a local page is pretty useless. Of course, it's trivial to change.

    • by spitzak (4019)
      Is this a new feature? Firefox for me defaulted to a blank page, I think (I changed it and I don't see any way to "change to default" so I can't check). I think you may be confusing the default page with the default search for the search entry?
      • by SeaFox (739806)

        I think you may be confusing the default page with the default search for the search entry?

        No, I'm not. I don't even have the search bar on my toolbar, as I use quicksearches for everything.

        If you do a new install of Firefox and don't import anything, the default start page is:
        http://www.google.com/firefox [google.com]

        I'm not even sure if importing an other browser's settings would effect the home page setting.

        • by spitzak (4019)
          Thanks for the info, that is obviously a start page for Firefox.

          I think mine did go to that, but I changed the start page so quick I forgot it. And another poster says there is a "restore to default" setting but I don't see it, perhaps it was added in a newer version. I guess I could rename my firefox setup dir so I get the defaults, that would have allowed a test.
    • I know exactly what you mean. I worked in the help desk for some ISP's and it was awful. The people really had no idea what the internet was even for. They would call up and ask to change their homepage because they "lost" it. My entire family thinks that even with broadband, they have to open up AOL and log in and then they can use the internet through AOL's browser. I keep telling them they just need to click on the Blue "I" or "E" I forget what it is because I've been using firefox so long and do not ev
  • by Timesprout (579035) on Sunday December 24, 2006 @12:23AM (#17351496)
    200+ million active accounts is a great big chunk of hits right there.
  • That's the second-biggest website I've ever seen, 99.
  • by whoever57 (658626) on Sunday December 24, 2006 @12:33AM (#17351528) Journal
    Given Y!'s recent re-design, I an unsurprised. I used to have Y! as my home page, now it's Google news.

    IMHO, Yahoo has made the fatal mistake of over-emphasizing form over function and is now suffering the result.
    • by _Sprocket_ (42527)
      Given Y!'s recent re-design, I an unsurprised. I used to have Y! as my home page, now it's Google news.

      IMHO, Yahoo has made the fatal mistake of over-emphasizing form over function and is now suffering the result.


      Recent? Haven't they always done this? This sounds like a comment from 1998. At that time there was much lamenting over the increased clutter of Yahoo compared to the starkness of newcomer Google.
    • Its not only the redesign.

      Yahoo messenger forced a security update last week. And IE7 mysteriously received a Yahoo toolbar - occupying sizable real estate with useless icons/links. Nowhere in the security update it was mentioned a new toolbar will be installed - this is hideous backdoor stuff.

      No wonder they are becoming irrelevant.
  • Visitors to Google's sites rose 9.1 percent to 475.7 million in November

    even if they meant unique visitors, that's REALLY low. If half of americans vistited google once in november and we're not nearly the most connected country, it'd only take about double that number in addition to come up with that. With like 6.5 billion other people in the world (something like that), I think they could come up with more than just an additional 300 million, geeze. It's probably more like close to 3/4 billion unique

    • With like 6.5 billion other people in the world (something like that)
      The problem is that over 5 billion of those haven't ever seen a computer in their lives.
  • If so many people don't even bother with the trivial task of changing their homepage to something less annoying, or are incapable of it, we are doomed as a species. I wonder if these people also use the Microsoft page to search for Google?
  • The data was collected by Comscore, which installs Trojan horses on Windows PCs to spy on users' Internet activities. See Blocking Marketscore: Why Cornell Did It [cornell.edu] and many other Marketscore references on the net.
  • Visitors to Google's sites rose 9.1 percent to 475.7 million...
    Is it just me, or does that try to compare percentages with flat numbers? Personally, I didn't know you could do that... As far as I know, when you compare numbers, you typically compare the same types of numbers - ex: increase from xx% to xx%, or ### to ###.

    Did this confuse anybody else?
    • by mgkimsal2 (200677)
      As others pointed out, I think it's just you.

      Try it without 'visitors' and put in 'weight' or something:

      "My weight rose 10% to 180 pounds" - meaning I was 164 before, then adding 10% (16) on to that, I got to 180 - well 180.4.

      "The car price was reduced 5% to $15,000" - was around $15,800 before, then 5% of that - $790 - was taken off, leaving $15010.

      Rewrite the sentence with only percentages - what sense would it make?

      "Visitors to Google's sites rose 9.1 percent to 475.7 percent..." - that just seems meanin
  • Netcraft report (Score:4, Informative)

    by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Sunday December 24, 2006 @09:05AM (#17353076) Journal
    Netcraft.com rankings: http://toolbar.netcraft.com/stats/topsites?s=2629A F9E8226E9D5E21D0E6F8945#89 [netcraft.com]"

    1 http://www.google.com/ [google.com] November 1998 Google Inc. Go US
    2 http://www.yahoo.com/ [yahoo.com] August 1995 Inktomi Corporation Go US
    3 http://www.google.de/ [google.de] April 1999 Google Inc. Go US
    4 https://www.google.com/ [google.com] May 2002 Google Inc. Go US
    5 http://www.google.co.uk/ [google.co.uk] April 1999 Google Inc. Go US
    6 http://www.google.fr/ [google.fr] November 2001 Google Inc. Go US
    7 http://www.microsoft.com/ [microsoft.com] August 1995 Microsoft Corp Go US
    8 http://mail.google.com/ [google.com] June 2004 Google Inc. Go US
    9 http://news.bbc.co.uk/ [bbc.co.uk] December 1997 BBC News Online Go UK
    10 http://www.bbc.co.uk/ [bbc.co.uk] August 1995 BBC Internet Services, Docklands. Go UK

    Slashdot is some 89 today.
    Looks like the rank depends on who does the counting.
  • ...that WIndows users can't change a home page: heck, they can't even figure out how to remove the ad stickers plastered over their palmrests.

  • Years ago, I decided to use yahoo for almost everything. Not because yahoo the best at everything, but yahoo gave me "one stop shopping." Now yahoo is mucking evrything up so bad, I am feeling forced to leave.

    I gave up yahoo search, in favor of google. I have left yahoo message boards after they screwed those up. Now their photos section is seeming just as badly borked. I don't like the way yahoo's mail editor works now either, especially when it comes to cut-and-paste.

    Yahoo used to be all server based, and
  • There are three type of lies. Lies, damn lies and statistics. Mark Twain.

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