Ever Wonder About Internet Traffic in Japan?

I always hear about China driving the most search traffic in Asia. And I always hear about China being a very coveted market for internet advertising. Well, good for you, China. So glad you are kicking so much ass over there. I’m glad that you have 253 million web users. Does anyone even know which country comes in second place in internet usage in Asia? Well, if the title of this post gives away anything, it is the answer to that question. Japan! Yes, Japan has 94 million internet users. That data is from this site, so hopefully it’s accurate. At any rate, I have an empathetic gene that apparently makes me stick up for the guy finishing in second place. With this post, I just want to make sure more attention gets paid to internet usage in Japan. So here I go. Before I get started, let’s make sure you know that Yahoo! is not the same as Yahoo! Japan. Yahoo Japan is a separate company altogether, but it’s nearly worth as much as Yahoo. In fact, US-based Yahoo! owns 34% of Yahoo! Japan.

Uh. Where to start? How about we look at visitor data for Yahoo Japan and Google Japan. Together, these two engines drive 72 million unique japanese visitors per month (Yahoo Japan has 46 million, Google Japan has 26 million). In graph form, it looks like this:

Monthly Japanase Unique Visitors for Yahoo.co.jp and Google.co.jp
Monthly Japanase Unique Visitors for Yahoo.co.jp and Google.co.jp

Holy crap! Do you see that? Who would have thought that Yahoo Japan destroys Google Japan for monthly unique Japanese visitors? Not me. If you happened to be debating this topic at your local pub the other night, I’m glad I can help settle the debate. Yahoo Japan clearly wins. And it doesn’t stop there. In terms of monthly pageviews, Yahoo Japan has 21.9 billion, while Google Japan only has 2.2 billion. Yahoo Japan wins again! (Yes, I admit that graph doesn’t make much sense because it’s talking about percentages. But I like graphs where one part looks like it’s eating the other part!)

Now let’s look at Alexa Japan’s rankings for the top 3 sites in Japan:

Alexa Japan: Top Sites in Japan (Feb. 2009)
Alexa Japan: Top Sites in Japan (Feb. 2009)

Holy crap! It looks like Yahoo.co.jp is the #1 site Japan. How about that? Where you at Google Japan? While I did say that I like to stick up for #2, I would rather not stick up for Google in this post. Google rules everything, everywhere else around the world pretty much. I’m going to let Yahoo Japan enjoy this victory. They deserve it. Ah, but I am empathetic, so I should point out that Alexa Japan has YouTube.com at #4 and Google.com at #8. That’s right. Google has 3 sites in the Alexa Top 10 in Japan. They may not be #1 in the market, but they definitely have enough representation in the Top 10.

Well, that’s all I’ve got today. Just a cool look under the hood of the battle for internet exposure in Japan. But before I go, here are some stats I found for Yahoo! and Yahoo! Japan for 2007:

  • Yahoo Japan’s worth is about $22B in Tokyo Stock Exchange (Yahoo worth about $27B)
  • Yahoo Japan’s sales hit $2.4B (Yahoo’s sales hit about $7B in the US)
  • Yahoo Japan’s net income for 2007 was $570M (Yahoo was about $660M)
  • Yahoo US has about 138M monthly unique visitors (Google US has about 133M)

For those of you wondering where I got all this information…uh…I found it on the internet somewhere. From different places and stuff.