Based on research firm comScore’s data on the 50 largest websites for September, Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google sites lead the list with 245 million unique visitors. This is against a total American Internet population of 258 million. So, almost everyone uses Google.
These rankings used to take into consideration only desktop use, which made the figures worth less and less over time, as Americans turned to tablets and smartphones. comScore has changed the base to “desktop and mobile,” which creates a truer picture of activity when people are online.
Google sites include not only the search engine, but YouTube, the largest video site by far. This helps make the large gulf between Google sites, and the second place Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) at 215 million. A few years ago, Facebook would have not made the list. It is telling that Facebook’s revenue is so much smaller than Alphabet’s. The social network has not figured out how to make much money on all its users, something which Alphabet figured out long ago.
Another that has had trouble converting a large audience into revenue is the Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) sites, which have 210 unique visitors. Wall Street has attacked Yahoo for its inability to change people into cash.
Fourth on the comScore list is Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), which recently proved how hardy its e-commerce business is by posting revenue for the most recently reported quarter that was up 23% to $25.4 billion. Imagine how well Amazon will do in the current holiday quarter. Amazon also made money, which no one expected, with net income of $79 million. That does not seem like much, but it tops a loss.
As proof of how hard it is to compete with Amazon, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s (NYSE: WMT) unique visitor audience in September was only 86.7 million. That seems close enough to Amazon’s total to make Wal-Mart an e-commerce power. It has not been successful, however. That is one of many reasons the largely brick-and-mortar company has lost favor among investors.
The comScore data show that size only matters to a certain extent. Not every company on the list has managed to turn audience into a great deal of money.