Press Releases

February 15, 2007

New Year’s Resolutions Reflected in January U.S. Web Traffic

comScore Media Metrix Releases January Top 50 Web Rankings and Analysis; Increases Seen at Tax, Travel, Real Estate, Job Search, Political, and Computer Software Sites

RESTON, VA, February 15, 2007 – comScore Media Metrix today released its monthly analysis of U.S. consumer activity at top online properties and categories for January 2007. In keeping with annual trends, January saw significant increases in visitation to tax, travel, careers and real estate sites. Heightened interest in tax software and Microsoft’s Vista operating system boosted traffic to the Computer Software category, while mounting speculation about 2008 Presidential candidates drove traffic to politically-oriented sites.

“As we’ve witnessed on an annual basis, consumers turned to the Web at the beginning of the year in a very utilitarian fashion, with an eye toward planning,” said Jack Flanagan, executive vice president of comScore Media Metrix. “Traffic to Tax sites continued to grow versus December, and Travel sites also saw increases as Americans explored ways to escape the winter doldrums. Politics also captured consumers’ attention, as politicians turned to the Web as their primary vehicle to announce their candidacies for the first time. In addition, Americans took keen interest in potential career changes and housing moves in January.”

Americans Get a Head Start on Taxes

January marked the official start of the annual tax season in the U.S., and Americans hit the Web in force in preparation of filing their 2006 tax returns, driving the Tax category to the top-gaining category for the month, virtually tripling its December traffic totals. Led by IRS.gov, which had 13.3 million visitors (a 205-percent increase versus December to make it the top gaining property for the month), the category saw a 199-percent increase to 22.4 million visitors.

Computer Software Category Continues Upward Climb

Even as other retail-oriented categories returned to previous visitation levels after the holiday season, the Computer Software category bucked the trend with a 20-percent surge in January. Intuit, developer of finance software packages such as TurboTax, Quicken, and QuickBooks, grew 189-percent with 11.5 million unique visitors to make it the second-largest gaining site overall. The highly anticipated rollout of Microsoft Vista also drove category traffic, with sites such as Buy.com, Symantec Store, PCSecurityShield.com, Microsoft Product Info, and Trendmicro.com all finishing within the category’s top ten.

Americans Looking to Escape Winter Doldrums

Americans looking to escape frigid conditions around the country and take advantage of post-holiday vacation deals swarmed to travel-related sites in January. The Hotels/Resorts category experienced a 29-percent boost in visitation, led by Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Online with 6 million visitors (a 44-percent increase versus December) and Hotels.com with 5.2 million visitors (up 52 percent). Visitation to Travelocity grew 55 percent to 11.8 million visitors, making it the fourth-biggest gainer in January. Expedia led the Online Travel Agents category with 25.4 million visitors, up 31 percent versus December.

New Year’s Resolution: Get a New Job

Many Americans resolved to reassess their career situations, as 31 percent of American Internet users visited a Career Services site in January. Leading the category was CareerBuilder LLC with 21.1 million visitors (up 51 percent), followed by Monster with 15.7 million visitors (up 23 percent), and Yahoo! HotJobs with 10.7 million visitors (up 68 percent). Training and Education sites increased 26 percent to 9.9 million visitors in January, led by the College Board Property with 2.5 million visitors (up 44 percent) and Fastweb with 1.7 million visitors (up 17 percent).

Real Estate Category Shows Seasonal Growth

January also represented a month of real estate exploration on the Web, as visitation to the category increased 28 percent versus December, reflecting seasonal increases after the New Year. Move Network led the category with 8.5 million visitors, up 44 percent versus December, followed by Yahoo! Real Estate, which increased 63 percent to 4 million visitors, and Homegain.com, which increased 50 percent to 3.9 million visitors.

Politics Captured Americans’ Attention as 2008 Presidential Campaigns Kick Into Gear

Mounting speculation surrounding key players in the 2008 presidential elections fueled a 25-percent increase to political sites in January. Leading the category was Capitol Advantage, which grew 74 percent to 1.1 million visitors, followed by WorldNetDaily (up 54 percent to 478,000 visitors), and Moveon.org (up 23 percent to 430,000 visitors). In addition, strong media coverage of the 2008 presidential hopefuls drove traffic to their respective campaign Web sites. Specifically, the presumptive frontrunners for the democratic presidential nomination saw their official campaign sites finish among the category’s top 15, led by Hillary Clinton with 313,000 unique visitors, followed by Barack Obama (297,000 unique visitors), and John Edwards (202,000 unique visitors).

Top 50 Properties

January saw the top eight properties remain unchanged from December, with Yahoo! Sites capturing the number one position, drawing just over 129 million unique visitors (see Table 3). Wikipedia Sites jumped four spots to enter the top ten at number nine, attracting nearly 43 million unique visitors. The New York Times Digital gained two spots to claim the number ten spot with 40.1 million unique visitors. Other big movers included AT&T, Inc., which grabbed the number 15 position (rising from number 22 in December) and Expedia Inc. which jumped 13 spots to number 18 and increased unique visitors by more than 30 percent.

Top 50 Ad Focus

In January, Advertising.com retained the number one position for the 33rd consecutive month, reaching 85 percent of the U.S. online population. Casale Media Network and MSN-Windows Live each gained one position to claim the number five and nine spots, respectively. Also within the top ten, Google moved up two positions to number seven, reaching 61 percent of Americans online. Additionally, Euroclick jumped five spots to number 17, reaching 43 percent of the U.S. online population, while ContextWeb enjoyed an increase of four spots up to number 24, reaching 30 percent.

TABLE 1

Top 10 Gaining Properties by Percentage Change in Unique Visitors*
January 2007 vs. December 2006
Total U.S. Home, Work and University Internet Users
Source: comScore Media Metrix
Property Dec-06 (000) Jan-07 (000) Percentage Change Rank by Unique Visitors
Total Internet Population 174,199 175,559 1% N/A
IRS.GOV 4,372 13,333 205 208
Intuit 3,969 11,464 189 227
ED.GOV 3,790 7,105 87 236
Travelocity 7,600 11,799 55 114
CareerBuilder LLC 13,919 21,077 51 55
Move Network 5,916 8,527 44 154
Classified Ventures 7,516 10,331 37 116
Dominion Enterprises 5,127 6,940 35 178
Belo 3,598 4,814 34 249
CA.GOV 5,128 6,849 34 177

*Ranking based on the top 250 properties in January 2007.

 

TABLE 2

Top 10 Gaining Categories by Unique Visitors
January 2007 vs. December 2006
Total U.S. Home, Work and University Internet Users
Source: comScore Media Metrix
  Dec-06 (000) Jan-07 (000) Percentage Change
Total Internet : Total Audience 174,199 175,559 1%
Taxes 7,505 22,420 199
Hotels/Resorts 25,248 32,659 29
Real Estate 31,226 39,845 28
Training and Education 7,865 9,888 26
Politics 6,192 7,733 25
Job Search 11,796 14,534 23
Career Services and Development 44,715 54,131 21
Gay/Lesbian 1,843 2,231 21
Computer Software 25,260 30,216 20
Online Travel Agents 40,699 47,841 18

TABLE 3

Top 50 Properties
January 2007
Total U.S. Home, Work and University Locations
Unique Visitors (000)
Source: comScore Media Metrix
Rank Property Unique Visitors (000)   Rank Property Unique Visitors (000)
  Total Internet Users 175,559        
1 Yahoo! Sites 129,153   26 Verizon Communications Corporation 22,648
2 Time Warner Network 117,229   27 CBS Corporation 22,587
3 Microsoft Sites 114,936   28 CareerBuilder LLC 21,077
4 Google Sites 113,434   29 Shopzilla.com Sites 19,801
5 eBay 80,681   30 Travelport 19,720
6 Fox Interactive Media 74,831   31 FACEBOOK.COM 18,961
7 Amazon Sites 50,886   32 Gannett Sites 18,671
8 Ask Network 49,103   33 Real.com Network 18,532
9 Wikipedia Sites 42,880   34 Comcast Corporation 17,698
10 New York Times Digital 40,137   35 Photobucket.com LLC 17,620
11 Apple Computer, Inc. 38,634   36 E.W. Scripps 17,579
12 Viacom Digital 37,303   37 WebMD Health 17,076
13 Weather Channel, The 35,433   38 Idearc Media 16,884
14 CNET Networks 30,764   39 WhitePages 16,636
15 AT&T, Inc. 28,627   40 Cox Enterprises Inc. 16,245
16 Wal-Mart 27,031   41 ESPN 16,209
17 Adobe Sites 26,267   42 Yellowpages.com Network 16,148
18 Expedia Inc 25,377   43 iVillage.com: The Womens Network 15,529
19 Disney Online 25,005   44 CRAIGSLIST.ORG 15,251
20 Monster Worldwide 24,976   45 NFL Internet Group 15,089
21 United Online, Inc 24,461   46 Best Buy Sites 15,039
22 Lycos, Inc. 24,178   47 NBC Universal 14,959
23 Target Corporation 24,015   48 UPS Sites 14,787
24 Gorilla Nation 23,708   49 Weatherbug Property 14,696
25 Bank of America 23,130   50 JPMorgan Chase Property 14,636

TABLE 4

Ad Focus Ranking January 2007
Total U.S. Home, Work and University Locations
Unique Visitors (000)
Source: comScore Media Metrix
Rank Property Unique Visitors (000) Reach %   Rank Property Unique Visitors (000) Reach %
  Total Internet Users 175,559 100%          
1 Advertising.com** 148,439 85%   26 Ask Network 49,103 28%
2 ValueClick** 129,665 74%   27 EBAY.COM Home Page 45,126 26%
3 Yahoo! 127,460 73%   28 CPX Interactive** 43,207 25%
4 Tribal Fusion** 115,944 66%   29 Vibrant Media** 41,377 24%
5 Casale Media Network** 109,865 63%   30 ABOUT.COM 35,050 20%
6 AOL Media Network 108,466 62%   31 Interclick** 34,732 20%
7 Google 107,105 61%   32 YOUTUBE.COM 30,358 17%
8 Vendare NetBlue - TrafficMarketplace** 101,076 58%   33 Business.com Network 26,656 15%
9 MSN-Windows Live 97,449 56%   34 WEATHER.COM 25,636 15%
10 Blue Lithium** 94,858 54%   35 Disney Online 25,005 14%
11 24/7 Real Media** 90,469 52%   36 Lycos Network 24,026 14%
12 AOL 88,738 51%   37 Undertone Networks** 22,286 13%
13 DRIVEpm** 88,157 50%   38 CareerBuilder Network 21,954 13%
14 YAHOO.COM Home Page 86,976 50%   39 IMDB.COM 21,272 12%
15 Burst Media** 77,036 44%   40 CNN 21,246 12%
16 Tremor Media 75,294 43%   41 The WebMD Health Network 20,196 12%
17 EuroClick** 75,134 43%   42 FACEBOOK.COM 18,961 11%
18 EBAY.COM 72,817 41%   43 EXPEDIA.COM* 17,822 10%
19 PrecisionClick** 70,131 40%   44 SuperPages 16,884 10%
20 AdBrite** 66,942 38%   45 PHOTOBUCKET.COM 16,772 10%
21 MYSPACE.COM 61,524 35%   46 WhitePages Network 16,568 9%
22 AdDynamix.com** 59,420 34%   47 ESPN 16,209 9%
23 Gorilla Nation Media 58,955 34%   48 iVillage.com: The Womens Network 15,529 9%
24 ContextWeb** 52,914 30%   49 Travelocity All 15,457 9%
25 MSN.COM Home Page 50,112 29%   50 WHITEPAGES.COM 15,457 9%

Reach % denotes the percentage of the total Internet population that viewed a particular entity at least once in January. For instance, Yahoo! was seen by 73 percent of the more than 175 million Internet users in January.
* Entity has assigned some portion of traffic to other syndicated entities.
** Denotes an advertising network.

 

About comScore Media Metrix

comScore Media Metrix, a division of comScore Networks, provides industry-leading Internet audience measurement services that report details of online media usage, visitor demographics and online buying power for the home, work and university audiences across local U.S. markets and across the globe. comScore Media Metrix continues the tradition of quality and innovation established by its Media Metrix syndicated Internet ratings – long recognized as the currency in online media measurement among financial analysts, advertising agencies, publishers and marketers – while drawing upon comScore's advanced technologies to address important new industry requirements. All comScore Media Metrix syndicated ratings are based on industry-sanctioned sampling methodologies.

 

About comScore Networks

comScore Networks is a global leader in measuring the digital age. This capability is based on a massive, global cross-section of more than 2 million consumers who have given comScore permission to confidentially capture their browsing and transaction behavior, including online and offline purchasing. comScore panelists also participate in survey research that captures and integrates their attitudes and intentions. Through its proprietary technology, comScore measures what matters across a broad spectrum of behavior and attitudes. comScore consultants apply this deep knowledge of customers and competitors to help clients design powerful marketing strategies and tactics that deliver superior ROI. comScore services are used by global leaders such as AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Verizon, Best Buy, The Newspaper Association of America, Tribune Interactive, ESPN, Fox Sports, Nestlé, MBNA, Universal McCann, the United States Postal Service, Merck and Expedia. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com.

Contact:
Andrew Lipsman
comScore, Inc.
+1 312 775 6510
press@comscore.com



 

Tags: Rankings, Real estate