Once upon a time the comScore “top 50″ sites release was an exciting revelation of gainers and losers in the relatively new internet derby. Now it has become very routine and, frankly, a little boring. Yesterday the measurement firm released the top 50 US site rankings for November.
Rather than just say “here it is,” I decided to spice things up by looking back at the earliest top 50 ranking I could find. That turned out to be May 2006. I was trying to go back 10 years but wasn’t able to find anything from 2002.
Below is the current top 50 rankings:
Here’s the list from May 2006:
Among the things one notices are the reversal of Facebook’s and MySpace’s positions. In 2006 MySpace was the 7th most visited site in the US and Facebook the 49th. Now Facebook is number 4 and MySpace is 46th.
Sites like Tumblr and Pineterest didn’t yet exist in May 2006. Yelp and Netflix existed but weren’t yet big enough to register — neither was Craigslist. Twitter was about to launch, in July 2006. We could go on.
Wikipedia is today basically in the same place it was six years ago — and so are Yahoo and Microsoft. Google has jumped several spots and AOL has fallen, but is still in the top 10. Here are the two top 10 lists side-by-side:
Internet time is more accelerated than “dog years.” With very few exceptions six years is more than a lifetime online. The rise and fall of some of the sites above is evidence of that. This short lifespan creates a problem for investors in companies such as Groupon and Zynga — companies that are very hot for a relatively brief time but may have limited long-term staying power.