web mail share
Most Popular Web Email Services

Hitwise today released their October stats for the 20 most popular websites based on traffic to that domain. The list includes the top four email websites as well and is therefore a good way to measure their relatively popularity among Internet users.

Yahoo Mail leads with 4.7% share (out of the whole Internet traffic in US) followed by Windows Live Mail (1.94%) and Google Gmail at 0.8%.

Though the rankings are almost consistent with Comscore figures that were released exactly an year ago, there are some factors that I am not sure are considered in this report:

1. Google offers free POP and IMAP access so some portion of their users may not be checking emails on the web thus reducing traffic to that domain. Windows Live Mail too offers POP access via the Outlook connecter while Yahoo! provides that through Zimbra.

2. A lot of people use Gmail with Google Apps so they are visiting google.com/a/domain.com instead of the default gmail.com domain thus contributing traffic to the main Google domain (mail.google.com) instead of the Gmail domain.

Related: 20 Most Popular Websites

Update (from Akshay): Windows Live Mail does not allow POP access through Outlook connector, it directly uses DirectSync over HTTP and HTTPS. Outlook Connector works on the HTTP and uses the delta sync protocol and allows one to connect to the Windows live hotmail from Microsoft Outlook. So that is already factored in the report.