Internet tracking firm comScore, Inc plans to formally release numbers on Thursday showing that April's numbers for unique visitors reveal Google as the leading U.S. Web destination for the first time. According to comScore, Go

ogle's unique U.S. audience in April was 141.1 million, an 18 percent increase compared with the same time last year. Yahoo's audience grew 7 percent, to 140.6 million. Microsoft Corp. trailed with about 121 million.

Google has long dominated the Internet search market, so it’s not surprising that it would eventually become the leading Web destination.

Jack Flanagan, comScore's executive vice president, asserts that “a halo effect” has occurred from Google's dominance in search boosting its other services.

Beyond search, Google expanded its services and remained competitive with Yahoo. The Picasa online photo-sharing service competes with Flickr; growing Gmail competes with Yahoo! mail; and the $1.76 billion purchase of YouTube in November 2006 gave Google the leading destination for video-sharing content.

Yahoo, however, continues to lead in page views, a measurement for visitors who spend more time at a website or return more often. The results indicate many use Google for a simple search request that quickly takes them elsewhere. Yahoo had 33.6 billion page views to Google's 28.7 billion.

comScore’s data is useful, but not especially new. Rival Nielsen Online already had Google surpassing Yahoo.

Though Microsoft failed in its recent bid to obtain Yahoo, the latest comScore data could advance Billionaire Carl Icahn’s campaign to bring back the Microsoft bid.

By Kathleen Clark
For comments on this article,
email us at