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An interesting, albeit controversial, set of statistics was provided by Compete.com last week outlining the top 20 online properties that a pool of 2,000,000 people spent the most time on in December 2006.

What struck me and other readers the most was the significant gap between Google and Yahoo; Yahoo beat Google by a landslide. In addition, MySpace’s position at the top is a perfect example of how social media marketing is taking a leading edge in online advertising space.

According to Jay Meattle of Compete.com the data was grabbed from “multiple data sources, including ISPs, ASPs, Opt-In Panels and the Compete Toolbar. ” Jay also noted that he and the compete.com team “strongly believe in our multiple data source strategy and its ability to detect and correct for bias across diverse data sources to ensure accurate U.S. projections.”

So just how seriously should we take this data? I expect it should be taken with some salt considering a good chunk of the data was gathered using the compete.com toolbar which appears to place a significant emphasis on searching Yahoo. That said, I find it encouraging to see Yahoo potentially taking leadership on the web - at least in one form.