Yahoo keeps crown as most-trafficked Web site

Yahoo, America Online and Netscape were May's most-visited Internet sites, according to a research firm that tracks World Wide Web traffic. Yahoo logged the most visits at 30.6 million, followed by America Online, at 22.8 million, and Netscape, at 18.9 million. Yahoo's chief Web portal rivals -- Excite, Lycos and Infoseek -- were left in the dust.

Yahoo, America Online and Netscape were May's most-visited Internet sites, according to a research firm that tracks World Wide Web traffic.

Yahoo, in Santa Clara, California, logged the most visits at 30.6 million, followed by Dulles, Virginia-based America Online, at 22.8 million, and Mountain View, California-based Netscape, at 18.9 million, according to RelevantKnowledge Inc.

Yahoo's chief Web portal rivals -- Excite, Lycos and Infoseek -- were left in the dust, according to the research firm's findings. Excite, in Redwood City, California, came closest, with 15.9 million visits. Santa Clara, California-based Infoseek had 12.7 million visits, and Waltham, Massachusetts-based Lycos had 10 million, according to Atlanta-based RelevantKnowledge.

Mike Bernstein, an analyst at GartnerGroup, attributes Yahoo's lead to the company's successful cross-channel marketing campaigns, which he says have made the company a "household name" among the "less 'Net-savvy crowd."

"Yahoo has taken very aggressive steps to lead the market," Bernstein says. "And success breeds success -- as soon as they do one thing, their stock goes up, which generates more attention and more money, which in turn allows them to do the next aggressive thing."

Yahoo's most recent "aggressive" action played out earlier this week, when the company bought Viaweb, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Internet commerce firm.

The purchase of Viaweb, which will move its offices to Santa Clara in August, will allow Yahoo to offer small and medium-size businesses the opportunity to build, promote and operate online storefronts.

Bernstein said Yahoo would remain the king of the Web for the foreseeable future. "They've got the momentum in the marketplace and are not resting on their laurels by any means," he said.

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