Facebook Passes Yahoo in Unique Visitors

We’ve all known that Facebook is on the rise; it’s status as the site with the most page views has had it dubbed by some as “Ruler of the Internet.” While this must be tempered with the fact that Google is second only if you’re counting visits exclusively to the main page, Facebook remains a site with explosive growth. It’s not precisely shocking to learn, then, that Facebook has surpassed Yahoo! as the site with the third largest amount of unique visitors.

As reported by Geek.com, Yahoo! has slid from the number three to number four position according to comScore’s most recent study. The study put November 2010 numbers at 630 million unique visitors for Yahoo! and 648 million for Facebook. There’s still quite a way to go to beat Microsoft, who sits at 869 million, and Google, who got about 970 million in November.

It should be noted that what’s being evaluated here is “unique visitors” — or unique instances of a site being opened, as judged by the time and IP addresses accessing the Facebook/Yahoo! sites. When looking at “page views,” or total number of pages opened, regardless of the visitor who opened them, Facebook surpassed Yahoo! long ago.

Some analysts are siting this as an effect of the layoff of over 600 Yahoo! employees earlier in the month, but that’s not actually the case. Rather, what these figures show is the motivation for a restructuring of company focus: Yahoo! needs to shed the dead weight so it can compete on all fronts.

This time also saw Facebook passing two additional benchmarks. As of the end of 2010, Facebook is the largest provider of video traffic for YouTube and other Google outlets; and Facebook has bloomed to $41.2 billion in enterprise value, moving it up on the internet food chain, past both Yahoo! and eBay.