Google Holds Large Audience Lead Over Facebook

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The two companies that dominate internet use took the first and second place in audience size in a new study of digital media. Of the two, Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google holds a substantial lead over Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) in terms of monthly unique visitors in March.

comScore has issued its monthly report, “Top 50 Multi-Platform Properties.” It includes mobile and PC users, as well as use both at home and at work. Google’s monthly unique visitors in March totaled 242 million. The number for Facebook was 203 million.

Ironically, Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) sites were in third place with 197 million unique visitors. The company was recently sold to Verizon for $4.48 billion. Facebook, although only slightly larger in U.S. audience, has a market value of $421 billion. Of course, each company has large overseas visitor counts. Facebook has nearly 1.9 billion members. And marketing on Facebook is considered a major part of the future of online advertising. Yahoo’s reliance on display advertising is considered primarily the past.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) sites, which include MSN, finished fourth based on monthly unique visitors in March with 184 million, followed by Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) at 183 million to round out the top five. Amazon’s nearly complete dominance of e-commerce is reflected in the figure. The next largest retailer based on unique visitors is Wal-Mart, in 24th place with 87 million. The Wal-Mart number does show that among retailers of any kind, it is the only one that has a chance to challenge Amazon.

Among social media sites, Microsoft’s LinkedIn had 110 million unique visitors in March. Twitter had 97 million, followed by Snapchat at 91 million and Pinterest at 88 million.

Among media companies, Comcast’s NBC Universal was the leader with 166 million unique visitors in March. The company owns many media properties, including NBC Sports, Universal Studios, Bravo and MSNBC. CBS Interactive was slightly behind at 162 million, followed by Time Warner’s Turner Digital, which includes CNN and Time’s online sites.

Google’s lead over all the largest sites is so large that it is unlikely to be topped anytime soon.