Some interesting figures from Hitwise on a combined Microsoft/Yahoo impact on the UK. According to HItwise Microsoft has a dominant market share with its Hotmail service in the UK, while Gmail has been flat for the last few months. Last week the combined market share of the Microsoft and Yahoo! services was 13 times that of Google.
Google’s market share in News services is “extremely flat”, while Yahoo! and Microsoft both have more peaks and troughs in their traffic. Yahoo! is ahead, but the combined Yahoo! and Microsoft market share was only twice that of Google. Yahoo and Microsoft combined have four of the top 10 Business and Finance sites, and together would account for almost one in five visits to the category. Google Finance is a rank outsider in the UK. But in Maps it captures almost half of all internet visits to Maps websites in the UK.
All three companies get UK traffic to both their UK and US sites but the split between these properties varies depending on the subject. Yahoo!, Microsoft and Google also have less market share of content sites in the UK than in the US, other than Yahoo’s Flickr which is ranked second and Google’s Picasa sixth.
Elsewhere, the strength of local brands like the BBC pushes the big three much further down the rankings. Hitwise concludes that companies in niche sectors will have “more to fear from a combined Yahoo! and Microsoft content business.”
To my mind, in a smaller market – relatively speaking – like the UK, this looks like three gorillas trying to wrestle in a broom cupboard. A combined Yahoo/Microsoft would clearly have a massive impact on traffic to niche sites, squashing a lot of other sites underfoot. What’s your view?