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Google is once again on the move

2006 appears to be a banner year for Google. It purchased the highly popular YouTube online video site in early October and saw its stock price dance with the $500 mark in November. Now according to ComScore Networks Inc., Google Inc. has slightly edged in front of Yahoo! Inc. to become the second most visited website for the month of November.

ComScore's figures show that Google's site traffic rose by 9.1% to 475.7 million visitors while Yahoo's traffic rose just 5.2% bringing its tally to 475.3 million visitors. Microsoft still held on to a 26 million visitor advantage at 501.7 million.

News Corp.'s Fox Interactive Media sites also saw a significant increase in traffic thanks to the booming popularity of Traffic for the company rose to a healthy 130.4 million visitors.

YouTube, Google’s recent acquisition, saw its visitors rise 24-fold to 107.9 million.

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By xFlankerx on 12/26/2006 3:54:36 AM , Rating: 3
Microsoft shouldn't really even be included on that list. It takes five seconds of thought to figure out that the reason Microsoft is at the top is because of how many computers out there, in schools and businesses, are automatically set to the MSN homepage. So everytime they start up Internet Explorer, MSN clocks another user logged on.

RE: Microsoft
By kilj on 12/26/2006 4:07:07 AM , Rating: 2
You're forgetting Windows Update. I'm pretty sure there many people have auto-update turned on.

RE: Microsoft
By hecksign on 12/26/2006 4:45:26 AM , Rating: 1
not to forget when everytime programs crashes, if we click the report problems and more info, it will go to microsoft website...
BTW, where can i see the Most Visited Website in the World list?

RE: Microsoft
By robert5c on 12/26/2006 6:17:26 AM , Rating: 4
all three of you are basically point out functionality Microsoft provides, were do you expect Microsoft to send its users?

they aren't doing this just to be on the top of the list...they do this because its needed and simply business so lets stop suggesting the results are skewed

RE: Microsoft
By phatboye on 12/26/2006 10:57:47 AM , Rating: 2
Making MSN the homepage of MS IE is needed? Counting hits from MS UPdate or Error handling tool is needed?

RE: Microsoft
By masher2 on 12/26/2006 11:09:22 AM , Rating: 1
I suggest you reread the original post, as you missed the meaning entirely.

RE: Microsoft
By cgrecu77 on 12/26/2006 3:25:33 PM , Rating: 2
if i recall correctly firefox sets the home page by default to as well, so I'm not sure what is your point. Also, and are two different websites + most people change their browser home page (by intention or not ...)

RE: Microsoft
By Xavian on 12/26/2006 11:00:21 PM , Rating: 2
actually no it doesn't it uses a customised page from google.

If you check the website that the default homepage goes to on the first install of firefox its but with a small snippet added at the end to provide a mozilla skin.

Heres the link:

RE: Microsoft
By Steve Guilliot on 12/27/2006 6:24:10 PM , Rating: 2
Hmm, so would you say the default behavior of Firefox skews the numbers in favor of Google?

All this is BS anyway. Of the hundreds of thousands of websites the average web-surfer goes to in thier lives, the *vast* majority are intentional, not due to some new-browser trickery. Bottom-line, Microsoft probably earned their rating.

RE: Microsoft
By ATC on 12/26/2006 11:16:58 AM , Rating: 2
I think the premise of this finding was to show the 'popularity' of certain sites.

Just because I visit windows update often does not mean that is my favourite website. That was the point, I think, of the posters you replied to.

RE: Microsoft
By masher2 on 12/26/2006 11:57:37 AM , Rating: 3
Google isn't my 'favorite' website either. It's simply the one I visit the most. See the point? It doesn't matter why you visit a site-- if you view it, the site is getting traffic

RE: Microsoft
By ATC on 12/26/2006 1:26:46 PM , Rating: 2
I know what you're saying. We can go on all day long with this. : )

My point was that MSFT's site is an essential site for updates and so on. Google isn't. You found google to be better than other sites at certain things and you 'prefer' it, am I correct? Put another way; there are many alternative search engines to google, but the same cannot be said for Windows Update.

All I am saying is that I see your point and it's valid but also the point of the posters saying that MSFT should be excluded from the list. It's a grey area to say the least.

RE: Microsoft
By masher2 on 12/26/2006 2:03:09 PM , Rating: 2
I think you're still missing the salient point here though. Traffic rankings are a measure of traffic only, and are not intended to measure ones personal feelings towards the sites you visit, nor the reasons why you do so.

If Google had zero competitors, its page hits would, from a traffic ranking basis, be no more or less valuable than they already are. Advertisers pay for hits...and a hit is a hit, regardless of the reasons behind it.

And I could be wrong, but I don't believe the hits from Windows Update are even counted in Microsoft's totals, unless users manually navigate to the site. All the auto-updates are excluded automatically.

RE: Microsoft
By mindless1 on 12/26/2006 12:37:17 PM , Rating: 2
Where do we expect to be sent? How about:

IE homepage - The most popular search engine by user choice.

Report Problems/More Info - A HTML page installed with Windows that apologizes for making us click away the problem MS isn't spending enough time to fix instead of spending that time restricting EULAs and stripping features out of Vista.

The implication is obvious, these are places we choose NOT to go to, but it's thrust upon us. Nothing like paying for what someone else wants you to have, is there?

RE: Microsoft
By cochy on 12/26/2006 3:38:20 PM , Rating: 2
One thing doesn't have to do with the other. No one is saying MS is intentionally trying to become the world's most visited Internet site. However, intentionally or not, the results are in fact skewed in this regard if you consider the above points.

RE: Microsoft
By hecksign on 12/27/2006 5:03:57 AM , Rating: 1
I didnt say that microsoft webpage should not be in the list. Dont misunderstand what i say. i only say the reason people go to their site.
about mozilla setting its default webpage as google and IE default site is msn, i use both of the but i changed both of my homepage to yahoo because i use yahoo alot.

RE: Microsoft
By kamel5547 on 12/27/2006 12:34:36 PM , Rating: 2
Uh, I highly doubt that Automatic updates counts as a page view... neither does sending error reports (actually clicking more info for an error report and going to a web page would count). By those metrics merely conencting to any type of server becomes a "page view" hence pinging a server, connecting to a time server, etc would count. I'm pretty sure in that case WoW would be pretty high up the list of "page views".

At least I would hope that page views are only counted when a web browser is involved but who knows...

RE: Microsoft
By robert5c on 12/26/06, Rating: 0
RE: Microsoft
By boing on 12/26/2006 9:13:59 AM , Rating: 2
i think the point these guys are making is that most google users go there voluntarily whilst most microsofts users go there out of neccesity.

RE: Microsoft
By ViperROhb34 on 12/26/2006 9:57:36 AM , Rating: 1
You might be clarifying 'What those guys are trying to say' but if anyone actually beleives even half of the 500 million people go to MSN and it isn't voluntary someone needs smacked upside the head. First of all updates don't count. I can have my homepage set on google as I do.. and I still like to go to for the news. I happen to like their setup.

It takes all 2 seconds to right click any page and make it your new homepage. Im not buying that.

RE: Microsoft
By masher2 on 12/26/2006 10:06:20 AM , Rating: 1
> " think the point these guys are making is that most google users go there voluntarily whilst most microsofts users go there out of neccesity. "

In either case, they're still visiting the site...and thus still open to advertising and whatnot from it.

As for the voluntarily vs. neccesity comparison, that's slightly flawed also. For instance, one could say-- "I don't visit Google voluntarily, I do it only when the neccesity arises to perform a search." See?

RE: Microsoft
By boing on 12/26/2006 4:39:19 PM , Rating: 2
yes but to search you have many options, to update your windows you don't. You may have to visit a search page but you choose to visit google in particular due to their performance advantage over their rivals. You visit microsoft 'mostly' because you have to, not because they are better that their rivals.

To that extent i think google have earned their popularity whilst microsoft have engineered theirs.

RE: Microsoft
By masher2 on 12/26/2006 4:53:37 PM , Rating: 1
> "yes but to search you have many options, to update your windows you don't. "

Once again, I don't believe Windows auto-updates are counted in these statistics.

> " i think google have earned their popularity whilst microsoft have engineered theirs. "

And, as has been pointed out, even if true, its irrelevant. Every pop music star since the days of Elvis has had their popularity "engineered" to some degree or another. That doesn't change the facts. The sole criteria is the level of traffic...not the reasons why that traffic exists.

RE: Microsoft
By MAIA on 12/26/2006 6:28:55 PM , Rating: 2
I don't believe

... and since when what you believe maters ? Level of traffic as you suggest is "blind" data, as it not correlated to other important criteria. In such regards, windows auto-updates do count !

The sole criteria is the level of traffic...not the reasons why that traffic exists.

Then there's no real importance on level of traffic, isn't it ? What really maters is usability and objective interest, rather than direct hits due to defaults configs.

I don't get it, you revolve around how irrelevant and ingeneered popularity is, but then you don't explain why the level of traffic criteria is in fact worthless if you compare it to objective interest.

RE: Microsoft
By masher2 on 12/27/2006 12:45:33 AM , Rating: 1
> "and since when what you believe maters ? "

It matters until you prove otherwise. My contention is that traffic data is collected only for site hits which result in a page view, not every Port 80 connection upon which data might flow.. Thus traffic from automated Windows updates are not counted.

Why do I believe this? First, because its logical, as counting such traffic would invalidate the results. Secondly and more importantly, a little bit of simple arithmetic should demonstrate that, were such hits counted, Microsoft would have far more traffic than they currently do.

> "What really maters is usability and objective interest, rather than direct hits "

You seem to believe that traffic data is collected and published simply to inform the public as to what sites are popular and should be visited. The reality is sites are ranked for advertisers, to gauge the relative value of advertising upon that site. They are the WWW version of Nielsen Ratings.

> "I don't get it..."

Read it again; it'll come to you.

RE: Microsoft
By vze4z7nx on 12/26/2006 8:35:55 AM , Rating: 2
I agree on all parts. That's considered cheating.

RE: Microsoft
By mindless1 on 12/26/2006 12:40:53 PM , Rating: 2
Cheating subject to interpretation, it might just be considered a meaningless category, or it could be considered a false connotation, that being most visited doesn't necessarily have to be a good thing, rather than another meaningless piece of data without more context.

RE: Microsoft
By sprockkets on 12/26/2006 10:26:17 AM , Rating: 1
Don't forget firefox defaults to google.

RE: Microsoft
By stmok on 12/26/2006 11:30:59 AM , Rating: 2
But Firefox and Google aren't from the same company.

RE: Microsoft
By Ringold on 12/26/2006 2:38:01 PM , Rating: 3
Important to point out the market reasons for an IE default homepage.

Microsoft exists to generate wealth for its stockholders in the way it knows best, and to do absolutely nothing else. Firefox is a subsidiary of Mozilla Foundation, which according to their website is a nonprofit. Therefore, Mozilla exists to give us free stuff that they can't profit from and they hope we like, but... really doesn't exist to put food on anyones table or work in a marketplace.

It should, in that light, be easy to see why Firefox would default to Google (it thinks its cliche would enjoy it most) and IE would default to its own page (they think enough people won't care that they'll keep them and the ad revenue they generate and those that do care wont mind as they can easily change it).

RE: Microsoft
By masher2 on 12/26/2006 2:46:45 PM , Rating: 2
Good points, but I'd like to add that Firefox is a product of the Mozilla Corporation, which is a for-profit entity which just happens to have the non-profit Mozilla Foundation as its sole stockholder.

In any case, rest assured that the executives of both entities are well-compensated.

RE: Microsoft
By cochy on 12/26/2006 3:43:51 PM , Rating: 2
But even if it's a non-profit it still needs to generate revenue to pay off it's expenses. Don't start believing that non-profits don't make money, they have staff that need to be paid, they have electricity and bandwidth bills to pay. In any event, if Google is the default page in Firefox, wouldn't it be fair to assume that Google in fact paid Mozilla for this pleasure?

RE: Microsoft
By masher2 on 12/26/2006 4:26:31 PM , Rating: 1
> "even if it's a non-profit it still needs to generate revenue to pay off it's expenses. Don't start believing that non-profits don't make money..."

That was exactly my point.

> "if Google is the default page in Firefox, wouldn't it be fair to assume that Google in fact paid Mozilla for this pleasure?"

A fair assumption, yes...indeed a likely one.

traffic count
By nyte on 12/26/2006 11:17:10 AM , Rating: 2

RE: traffic count
By tmarat on 12/26/2006 12:26:01 PM , Rating: 2
Guess the difference is when I go to Google, I go there because I need to make a search. There is a specific reason for me to specifically go to that site.
In case of microsoft, a lot of people will open the IE just to go to some site. But it will by default load From there people will type in the address they need to go. See the difference? This visit will be counted. There will be a lot of people who have no intention of going into but their activity will still be logged in favour of microsoft.

RE: traffic count
By XtremeM3 on 12/27/2006 12:40:07 AM , Rating: 2
Ah, but hits are hits. And when selling advertising, the value your spots whether it's a commercial on a TV program or a spot on a website is figured by how many eyes will see it - I doubt people watch American Idol for the commercials but I'm betting it costs quite a bit to put a commercial on because of the amount of eyes that will see it. That's truly the only relevance here, not a popularity contest. This isn't high school. This is business.


Most Visited Site vs Most popular Site
By Senju on 12/26/2006 11:00:34 PM , Rating: 2
Most visited site is just a measure of traffic. It does not matter what the reason is.

Most Popular Site is where a user *WANTS* to visit.

The Media should make this very clear!!!!

If a site like MS is using data from Updates and trouble reports to measure popular traffic, this is VERY WRONG!!!!!

The problem I see is the media see the top visited data traffic reports and assumes it is the most popular, reports this like that and now the user thinks it. Again, the media needs to explain this better IMO.

RE: Most Visited Site vs Most popular Site
By XtremeM3 on 12/27/2006 3:35:24 AM , Rating: 2
As it is stated doesn't matter. You guys seem to think this is a popularity contest. It's not. It's data relevant for advertising. No matter why the person sees that site...they see it.

I know alot of people who have google as their homepage just because it loads fast. They can open IE or Firefox and have their homepage loaded instantly then go on to whatever page it is they wanted to when they opened their browser. So they (like myself) hit google everytime their browser is opened, whether they wanted to go to google or not. Should they not count those hits?

I agree that error reports, and updates not done via the web interface should not be counted...but any http connection where a user sees a page should count...regardless of why they are there. It is relevant to how many eyes see that page. How many eyes that see a page is relevant to how much space on that page is worth. Whether it's being used or not.


By iLikeHam on 12/28/2006 10:35:02 AM , Rating: 2
It must be added to this entire thread that one of the most relevant and necessary aspects of all of this is that Jeff politely ends each thread with his name at the bottom, Jeff. Thanks, Jeff. As I read each of your threads, I find myself shaking my head in disagreement with your contentions, finding your arguments to be littered with flaws and baseless opinion and essentially being a waste of time. Then I get to the bottom and see you have thoughtfully reminded us that you are indeed Jeff. Obviously, the insertion of your name in a meaningless posting on a newsstory suddenly validates your arguments and gives you, as Jeff, much credibility.

The point of my reply is this: I like ham.

Btw, what makes your M3 so Xtreme Jeff? Hey, thats what you should start calling yourself, XtremeJeff! You're welcome. My M3 is extreme, probably more so, however, it's spelled differently.

BtwBtw, Microsoft has every right in the world to default IE to They created windows and generously decided to include a browser which, really, they didn't have to do. However, then only the savviest computer user would be able to figure out how to overcome this issue. Thus, if they are including a browser (IE) they created in a product (Windows) they created, then it's absolutely fair and legitimate for it to default to a website of their choice. Like XtremeJeff and his army of friends, my browser defaults to by choice, for the sole reason that it loads fast. Why do you think remains relatively ad free?

need clarification
By msva124 on 12/26/2006 7:21:20 AM , Rating: 2
So do these figures include all of Google's holdings (i.e. YouTube) or just

RE: need clarification
By regnez on 12/26/2006 8:22:54 AM , Rating: 2
Just for the top list; YouTube is separate, as stated in the article.

Microsoft Services Not included
By ZackB on 12/26/2006 12:42:36 PM , Rating: 2
I doubt the Microsoft services are included in those numbers, or if they are, they're wildly inaccurate. I would guess those numbers are from the main sites which have a UI. Other sites, like Passport, product activation, or IE 7 anti-phishing and even possibly Windows Update wouldn't be counted since they are not advertising related and page views are irrelevant if they even exist.

Most significant part
By mindless1 on 12/26/2006 12:47:28 PM , Rating: 2
IMO, the most significant part of this is that Google has risen above Yahoo, that people prefer and switched to Google search even after they had a Yahoo homepage (that we might've assumed they had customized to provide their preferred content).

I think it signals a shift in user desires, they're not wanting content thrust at them so much (as it was with AOL too), rather have their own lists of places to go for the content they want, don't need it on their homepage anymore. It could also be that Google's clean homepage is a nice departure from Yahoo, a lot of people are getting tired of looking at webpages that seem to have as much non-related content on it as possible. When your desired content is less than 40% of the text on a page it just looks bad, especially when that content is foratted worse just to make more room for the other items on the pages.

to all
By pacmann on 12/26/06, Rating: -1
"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller
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