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We're neck-and-neck with Yahoo!, claims Lycos

But it's still way behind AOL when it comes to Web visitors

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Lycos has moved into spitting distance of taking the number one Internet portal position, the company claimed today, citing the latest statistics from market research agency Media Metrix. MM's figures show the percentage of Web users accessing Lycos rose by 15.4 per cent between August and December 1998, from 40.3 per cent to 46.5 per cent. That puts the portal right behind market-leader Yahoo!, which ended up with an audience reach of 48.2 per cent, up from 47.5 per cent over the same period. According to MM, during that time Excite's audience reach fell one per cent to 29.2 per cent of Web users, while Infoseek rose from 21.3 per cent to 22.1 per cent, an increase of 3.8 per cent. The researcher defines audience reach as the "the percentage of Web-active individuals that visited a site once in the given month", so the figures give no indication of user loyalty, simply of the number of people who passed through the site. Interestingly, unlike Lycos, Media Metrix doesn't make a distinction between portals and other Web-based information centres, such as MSN and AOL's Web presence -- it describes them all as "Web properties". Presumably that's why both AOL and Microsoft are missing from the data supplied by Lycos. In comparison, the figures on MM's Web site put AOL at number one and Microsoft at number two with audience reach figures of 53.5 per cent and 48.9 per cent, respectively. MM's site refers to the November 1998 alone, but they August to December average is unlikely to be much different. ®

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