Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is still leading in U.S. web traffic, while Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) owns user engagement. But look out for Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), say analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald. They issued a research note with analysis of the latest web traffic data from comScore.


Google faces off with Yahoo!, AOL

Analysts Youssef Squali, Naved Khan and Kip Paulson examined the July data provided by comScore. They said as of the end of the month, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) still had the most unique visitors and views across devices. The search giant’s sites reported 227 million U.S. unique visitors—a .8 percent increase month over month—and 86.6 billion page views—a 3.3 percent increase month over month.

They said even though other players like Yahoo and even AOL, Inc. (NYSE:AOL) might grow faster, Google still has the biggest reach. Almost 95 percent of the Internet audience in the U.S. is reached by Google’s sites.

The analysts have a $1,000 per share price target and a Buy rating on Google.

Yahoo! gunning for Google

They note that Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) is closing the gap on Google in unique visitors and views. Last week comScore reported that Yahoo had actually passed Google in web traffic in July, racking up almost 197 million unique monthly visitors. Google sites had about 192 million users.

But those numbers did not include mobile use. As such, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) remains supreme in web traffic when looking across all devices. The company’s 227 million unique users across all devices edge out Yahoo’s 220.4 million unique U.S. users across all devices. Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) sites reach 92 percent of the U.S. market.

Cantor Fitzgerald has a Buy rating and a $29 per share price target on Yahoo!.

Google nipping at Facebook’s heels in engagement

The analysts also looked at user engagement data, which shows that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) still leads other online companies, although Google is catching up. The total combined minutes spent on Facebook rose 9.3 percent month over month to 152.2 billion minutes. Google, however, is nipping at the social network’s heels with 150.8 billion minutes spent in July—a 14.5 percent increase month over month. Cantor Fitzgerald analysts believe Google’s success in user engagement is driven by YouTube.

Meanwhile Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) is in distant third place with just 49.7 billion minutes. However, the company’s sequential growth accelerated to 11.2 percent month over month in July, compared to an increase of 1.3 percent in June and a decline of 7.5 percent in May.

AOL is growing the fastest

The analysts also point out that AOL, Inc. (NYSE:AOL) is actually growing the fastest sequentially, but the company is working off a much smaller base. The company’s unique U.S. visitors rose 5.1 percent month over month to 152.1 million, indicating that it reaches 63.2 percent of the U.S. Internet market. The company’s page views rose 6 percent to 11.2 billion, while minutes spent on AOL’s sites rose 15 percent sequentially to 15 billion.

Cantor Fitzgerald has a Hold rating and $38 per share price target on AOL, Inc. (NYSE:AOL).