The Web in Charts—Google vs. Microsoft-Yahoo vs. China

Today more than ever, the Web is a global game. Below are charts from a new State of the Internet report from comScore that paints a picture of global competition on the Web.

In 1996, two thirds of all people online (66 percent) lived in the U.S. By last October, that had completely flipped, with 77 percent of the online population living in the rest of the world and only 23 percent in the U.S. The U.S. still has the largest total number of Web surfers (162 million a month), but China is catching up fast (with 96 million):


In China, homegrown sites such as TenCent, Baidu and Sina all reach more native Web surfers than Microsoft, Google, or Yahoo. In fact, the leading Websites in many big markets such as Russia, Japan, and South Korea tend to be homegrown as well:


Social networks are the fastest-growing category of sites (nearly 60 percent annually), but they still lag in terms of penetration (less than 40 percent) behind photo sites, entertainment sites, search, and portals. The fastest growing of all social networks, of course, has been Facebook, which jumped from the second pack to where it is now running neck-and-neck with MySpace:


Drilling down into search, Google still dominates with 62 percent share worldwide. And it dominates search even more in other countries than it does in the U.S., where it only commands a 53 percent market share (compared to above 90 percent in parts of Europe and Latin America):


Looking at the efficiency of its search ads, Google puts up an ad against only about half of its searches, whereas Yahoo puts up an ad 75 percent of the time. Yet for those searches where an ad is shown, Google gets 0.24 paid click per search compared to 0.18 for Yahoo and 0.14 for Microsoft. (Search advertising on AOL and Ask are also powered by Google and they show the same or better clickthrough rates).


For display ads, Yahoo and MySpace control the most market share, with 19 and 15 percent each, respectively. (Microsoft comes in a distant third with 6.6 percent):


The report also gives an estimate of the unduplicated reach of Microsoft and Yahoo. A combined Microsoft-Yahoo would have 173 million unique visitors a month across the globe, a 10 percent share of all page views, 32 percent share of search, and 24 percent share of display ads:


Both Microsoft and Yahoo each have about 260 million Webmail users (with duplication), with Google’s Gmail bringing up third place with 87 million (no wonder Google execs keep bringing up market concentration concerns in relation to mail and instant messaging).