Tax, Job Search and Travel Sites See Growth as New Year Begins
Facebook Breaks into Top 10 Property Ranking for the First Time
RESTON, VA, February 19, 2009 – Comscore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released its monthly analysis of U.S. consumer activity at the top online properties for January 2009 based on data from the Comscore Media Metrix service. The Tax category led as the top-gaining category as January marked the beginning of tax season, while Job Search, Government and travel-related sites also witnessed strong gains.
“January has once again seen seasonal gains in the tax, career and travel categories, reflecting the typical American’s tendency to plan for the New Year,” commented Jack Flanagan, executive vice president of Comscore Media Metrix. “This month also saw Facebook break into the Top 10 Properties ranking for the first time, reminding us that 2009 will likely continue to see growth in the adoption and usage of social media.”
Traffic to Tax Sites Surges as Season Begins
January marked the beginning of tax season driving millions of Americans to the Tax category in preparation of filing their 2008 returns. The category witnessed a 176-percent gain to 24.7 million visitors, making it the top-gaining category for the month.
Career and Job Search Sites Gain as Job Losses Mount
January has historically been a strong month for career sites as the beginning of the New Year causes many Americans to reconsider their current career trajectory and future goals. However, the surge in visitors this January also reflects the millions of lost jobs across the nation, resulting in significant increases to both the Job Search category (up 42 percent to 26.7 million visitors) and Career Resources category (up 26 percent to 48.9 million visitors).
The Job Search category was led by CareerBuilder.com Job Search with 12.2 million visitors (up 34 percent versus December), Monster.com Job Search with 9.5 million visitors (up 42 percent), and Yahoo! HotJobs Job Search with 7.7 million visitors (up 38 percent).
Taxes, Unemployment and Salmonella Scare Drive Growth at Government Sites
Government sites grew 11 percent in January to nearly 90 million visitors, with tax preparation, unemployment benefits, a new Presidential administration, and the peanut butter salmonella warning all contributing to the category’s gains. IRS.gov led the category with 14.7 million visitors, an increase of 240 percent from the previous month, as Americans prepared to file their 2008 tax returns. Millions of Americans affected by the economy sought information on unemployment benefits and other government assistance, propelling gains at several state government sites, including CA.gov (up 10 percent to 7.6 million visitors), State.TX.US (up 14 percent to 4.4 million visitors), and State.NY.US (up 17 percent to 3.5 million visitors).
Other gainers in the Government category included FDA.gov, the Web site for the Food and Drug Administration, which grew 277 percent to 3.8 million visitors as news broke of a salmonella outbreak involving peanut butter products, and WhiteHouse.gov, the official online home of the new Presidential administration, which jumped 197 percent to 3.7 million visitors as new President Barack Obama was sworn into office on January 20.
Travel Sites Gain in January as Americans Plan Spring Travel
Several travel subcategories witnessed strong gains in January as Americans looked for late-season winter travel deals and began planning their spring travel. Travel – Ground/Cruise sites jumped 46 percent to 13 million visitors, led by Vacations to Go.com Sites with 3.6 million visitors, while Travel – Hotels/Resorts grew 12 percent to 30 million visitors, led by Disney Travel with 4.8 million visitors. Travel – Online Travel Agents climbed 10 percent to nearly 40 million visitors, with Expedia Inc. ranking atop the category with 22.7 million visitors.
Top 50 Properties
Google Sites continued to lead as the most visited property in January with 151 million visitors, followed by Yahoo! Sites with 146.1 million visitors and Microsoft Sites with 125.6 million visitors. Facebook climbed one spot to capture the #10 position with 57.2 million visitors, marking the first time in its history that Facebook has reached the Top 10.
Top 50 Ad Focus Ranking
Platform-A led the January Ad Focus ranking, reaching 91 percent of the nearly 192 million Americans online. Yahoo! Network ranked second, reaching 86 percent, while ValueClick Networks captured the third position with an 84-percent reach. Traffic Marketplace moved up one position in the ranking to #5 reaching 77 percent, while Tribal Fusion jumped three spots to #8 with a 75-percent reach.
*Ranking based on the top 250 properties in January 2009.
*Beginning with January 2009 Comscore Media Metrix data, each media entity in Comscore’s Client Focused Dictionary can only be classified into one content category and subcategory.
Reach % denotes the percentage of the total Internet population that viewed a particular entity at least once in January. For instance, Yahoo! Sites was seen by 76 percent of the nearly 192 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 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 reports are used by financial analysts, advertising agencies, publishers and marketers. Comscore Media Metrix syndicated ratings are based on industry-sanctioned sampling methodologies.
Comscore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital marketing intelligence. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com/companyinfo.
Director, Regional Product Marketing
+44 (0) 20 7099 1784 firstname.lastname@example.org