With a round of layoffs cutting 4% of staff, ongoing executive turnover, and confusion over different properties being shut down, Yahoo isn't exactly ending the year on a high note. But the embattled Web portal did get a glint of good news Tuesday with the latest comScore figures showing that Yahoo in November displaced arch rival Google as the most popular U.S. Web site for the first time since August.
Yahoo last month drew about 181 million unique visitors, just ahead of Google's 179 million. Microsoft was third with 176 million, followed by Facebook's 152 million, and AOL's 114 million. The fact is, Yahoo and Google have been in a virtual dead heat in the last several months, with the search giant in October edging out Yahoo, 181 million to 180 million. Still, at least until next month, Yahoo has bragging rights as the Web's No. 1 site.
With the start of the holiday shopping season in November, comScore also took a closer look at e-commerce-related traffic trends online. In that vein, coupons were the top-gaining site category last month, with visits surging 40% from October, followed by jewelry/luxury goods, up 36%, toys, 35%, consumer electronics, 30%, and department stores, 25%.
When it came to the fastest-growing sites month-over-month, Best Buy led the way with a 75% traffic gain followed by ShopLocal.com (72%), ToysRUs (71%), FrostWire (70%), and BearShare.com (67%). Hot group-buying site Groupon had a 54% increase in November, with its audience growing to nearly 10 million.
Within the retail category, Amazon attracted the biggest online crowd, with 84 million unique visitors last month, up 4% from the prior month. The total traffic of 179.5 million heading to retail sites in November was an all-time high. comScore has predicted an 11% increase in holiday e-commerce spending this year to $32.4 billion. Read more here.