YAHOO IS BURNING: Mail And Search Traffic Are Dropping Staggeringly Fast

Marissa Mayer

Photo: LeWeb

Yahoo has three big sources of traffic: the homepage, mail, and search.Two out of three of those are declining precipitously fast, according to new ComScore numbers cited by Kara Swisher at AllThingsD.

Specifically, U.S. search traffic was down 24 per cent from December 2011 to December 2012 and mail traffic was down 12 per cent over the same period. (Numbers for November were even worse.)

Only the homepage grew over that period, from 109 million monthly unique visitors in December 2011 to 114 million in December 2012.

Yahoo used to publish similar numbers in its quarterly earnings slides. It stopped doing so last quarter, Swisher notes—Marissa Mayer’s first earnings report as CEO.

Whether Yahoo discloses the numbers or not, Mayer has to turn these core Web properties around fast.

The Yahoo turnaround thesis is that Mayer can leverage its existing traffic into new, innovative products—predominantly mobile ones, built by small teams Yahoo can acquire for relatively cheap sums.

That assumes that traffic at Yahoo’s tentpole properties will hold steady. In its core U.S. market, that assumption no longer seems safe.

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