comScore: College Crowd Propels MySpace Past Yahoo
That prized demographic accounted for 12% of the page views on Fox Interactive Media sites (including MySpace), while only 6% of Yahoo's page views come from the college crowd, according to new research released Monday by comScore.
The Web ratings firm caused a contretemps last week when it reported that MySpace had eclipsed Yahoo in page views in November for the first time--38.7 billion to 30 billion. Rival Nielsen//NetRatings, however, had Yahoo beating MySpace 33.4 billion to 29 billion. Yahoo's increased use of Web 2.0 technologies such as Ajax, which allows continuous updating of sites without needing to refresh a page, was cited as a cause of its declining page views.
But on Monday, comScore said the major factor pushing MySpace past Yahoo in page views was its inclusion of traffic from universities in addition to that from home and office samples. Without the college traffic, Yahoo would maintain an edge over MySpace in page views--35.6 billion to 34.9 billion.
"While some search companies showed a lower page view count for Fox and Yahoo than did comScore, our data agree that Yahoo is still the leader if one looks only at the usage from home and work locations," said Magid Abraham, president and CEO of comScore Networks, in a statement. "However, the key reason for the apparent discrepancy is Internet usage from university locations, which comScore uniquely measures."
Abraham also acknowledged the impact of Ajax and other new technologies on Internet ratings, and said comScore plans to introduce new metrics next year to better track user engagement and online advertising.