MySpace.com has overtaken the likes of Yahoo and Google to become the most visited site in the US, according to a new survey.

Measurement firm Hitwise said MySpace.com had the most visits by US surfers in the week to July 8, thanks to a 132% rise in traffic in the previous year.

Separating findings for sites’ search and email services from their main results, the survey gave MySpace 4.5% market share, while Yahoo’s mail service came second with 4.4%. Yahoo secured 4.3% of visits, followed by Google with 3.9% and MySpace Mail with 2.85%.

Almost 80% of visits to online social networking sites were to MySpace.com, while the next most popular was FaceBook at 7.6%.

“MySpace continues its meteoric rise, to now claim the number one spot for all internet visits in the US,” said Bill Tancer, general manager of global research at Hitwise.

“We are still discovering the internet laws of gravity as it relates to a site’s potential to grow on the Internet. The fact that MySpace was virtually unknown by the mainstream internet users two years ago and now claims the top position, demonstrates how hyper-competitive the Internet really is.”

In a statement, Yahoo said: “The Yahoo network is made up of many domains and it is not accurate to compare MySpace.com to just Yahoo’s (e-mail site).”

Yahoo also says it attracts more unique visitors and a larger share of surfers’ time than MySpace, as well as greater popularity outside the US.

But the news is a boost for News Corporation, which bought MySpace for $580 million a year ago.

www.hitwise.com