Yahoo Stretches Its Lead Over Google In Total Desktop Audience

Google’s U.S. desktop audience shrunk slightly in August, allowing Yahoo to stretch its lead as the largest desktop site, with more than 196 million monthly active users.

Although Yahoo’s desktop audience has remained flat since July, other top Web properties such as Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and AOL have all seen a decline on desktop.

Facebook’s has seen one of the largest declines — 10% fewer monthly active users in August 2013 compared to one year ago.

(Of course desktop audience leaves out the large gains on mobile many of these properties have made.)

So what’s driving Yahoo’s audience growth?

We don’t credit Yahoo’s resurgence to any single event or acquisition, but rather its overall strategy. but rather its overall strategy. Marissa Mayer is an accomplished product manager. She helped build some of Google’s most-used products, such as Search and Maps. And now, at the helm of Yahoo she has helped redesign Yahoo’s Weather, News, and My Yahoo.

“When you look at the products that Yahoo has redesigned recently, you see a trend: they all involve the daily habits of users,” Lisa Giacosa, senior vice president and global director at Starcom MediaVest Group, told us over the phone. “I think Marissa is really smart and she understands people and how Web products touch on certain emotions.”

In an interview with Charlie Rose earlier this week, Mayer said Yahoo’s new strategy is to focus on mobile, personalisation, and partnerships. That strategy appears to be hitting a chord with users.

Earlier this month, Mayer said Yahoo now has 800 million users worldwide (not including Tumblr traffic), a 20% increase since she was hired as CEO 15 months prior. For comparison, Facebook had 1.15 billion users worldwide as of July.

Download the chart and data in Excel.

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