Wow. I’d never thought I’d get to type this in 2013: Yahoo! has ousted Google to become the number 1 source of US web traffic.
The comScore Top 50 US Web Properties report for July 2013 reveals that Yahoo! owned sites attracted more unique visitors than any other networks, including Google. The numbers are pretty close – Yahoo! traffic only beat Google traffic by less than 300,000 visits, but this win is a significant one for Yahoo!, given they haven’t been at the number #1 spot since 2008, according to Greg Sterling.
You might think these numbers were influenced by Yahoo!’s recent purchase of Tumblr, however Tumblr is ranked separately in the report, way down at position #28. Which makes me think that the hard work put in by Marissa Mayer and her new management team over the past 12 months is finally starting to gain traction.
It must be a sweet victory for ex-Google executive Mayer, who took over the top job when Yahoo! was in crisis – struggling from years of poor leadership and financial mismanagement. Despite an overall revenue dip of 7 percent compared with this time last year, Yahoo!’s latest financial figures reveal solid income growth for the past quarter – up 150 percent on the previous year.
The upshot of this for webmasters is: you simply CANNOT continue to put all your eggs in the Google basket. I say this until I’m blue in the face: Google is NOT the Internet. Both Yahoo! and Bing are major players in the search industry with the potential to provide as much – or in Yahoo!’s case, more – traffic than Google.
If traffic from Google dominates your site stats, take action now:
- Optimize your sites with ALL the search engines in mind. Learn what content / tag structure ranks well on Yahoo! and Bing. Optimize your pages accordingly.
- Study your analytics and learn what keywords convert better on Yahoo! and Bing. Better optimize your content for those keywords.
- Observe how much traffic you get from Yahoo! and Yahoo! partner sites. Compare conversion rates for this traffic with the traffic you get from Google and other sources.
- If you haven’t already established a Bing Ads account, create one and start experimenting with paid advertising on the Bing and Yahoo! networks.
- Verify your web site/s via Bing Webmaster Tools and start observing your site performance via that account.
- To encourage indexing, upload your XML sitemap to Bing and Yahoo! via Webmaster Tools and keep it up to date.
- Monitor your performance in all search engines to reduce your reliance on Google traffic.
Taking action now will mean that you’ll be one step ahead of your competitors and more importantly, if your Google rankings suddenly plummet – *cough* Panda, Penguin *cough* – you’ll have traffic from other sources to catch your fall.