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Tax Sites Experience Seasonal Surge as Tax Season Officially Commences
Travel Sites See Gains as Americans Seek to Combat Winter Doldrums
RESTON, VA, February 23, 2010 – Comscore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released its monthly analysis of U.S. Web activity at the top-growing properties and site categories for January 2010 based on data from the Comscore Media Metrix service. January marked the start of tax season, prompting millions of Americans to visit Tax sites as they prepared to begin filing their returns. Travel - Ground/Cruise sites and other Travel sub-categories were among the top-gaining categories in January as Americans sought off-season deals and planned ahead for spring travel.
“An increasing number of Americans are turning to the Internet each year to seek tax-related information and file their returns online, and this activity typically begins with a flourish in January,” said Jack Flanagan, executive vice president of Comscore Media Metrix. “While these diligent folks are already preparing to file their returns, others are looking for an escape from winter and work by booking travel plans for the coming months.”
Americans Pay a Visit to Uncle Sam
Tax sites saw their typical January surge in activity as Americans began preparing to file their tax returns as W-2’s and other tax documents were sent out late in the month. The Tax category attracted 28.8 million visitors in January, representing a 351-percent increase from December.
Travel Plans in Bloom
As the long winter months stretch on, Americans looked to travel sites for a break from the wintry weather across much of the nation. Many consumers look for off-season travel deals in the latter part of the winter, while others are beginning to plan for spring travel. Accordingly, the Travel- Ground/Cruise category grew 30 percent in January to 14 million visitors. VacationsToGo.com Sites ranked #1 in the category with 2.5 million visitors during the month, up 62 percent from December. Amtrak.com saw more than 2.3 million visitors, up 13 percent, followed by Carnival Cruise Lines with 2.2 million (up 79 percent) and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. with 1.5 million (up 54 percent).
Other top-gaining Travel sub-categories included Transactions, Hotels/Resorts, and Online Travel Agents, each growing significantly versus December. The Travel- Transactions category (4.1 million visitors) and Hotels/Resorts category (34.1 million visitors) each grew 23 percent from December, while Online Travel Agents sites grew 19 percent to 42.5 million visitors.
Job-Seekers Persevere in Challenging Market
Traffic to Career Resources sites jumped in January as the start of the New Year and continued challenges in the job market prompted many Americans to seek employment opportunities and career advice. The category grew 20 percent during the month, reaching an all-time high with 51.1 million visitors. Monster Worldwide led the Career Resources category with 19.3 million visitors (up 17 percent), followed by Yahoo! HotJobs with 19.0 million (up 72 percent) and Career Builder LLC with 18.3 million (up 10 percent).
Comscore Top 10 Gaining Properties by Percentage Change in Unique Visitors* (U.S.)January 2010 vs. December 2009Total U.S. – Home, Work and University LocationsSource: Comscore Media Metrix
Total Unique Visitors (000)
Rank by Unique Visitors
Total Internet : Total Audience
*Ranking based on the top 250 properties in January 2010. Excludes entities whose growth was primarily due to implementation of Media Metrix 360 hybrid audience measurement.
Comscore Top 10 Gaining Site Categories by Percentage Change in Unique Visitors (U.S.)January 2010 vs. December 2009Total U.S. – Home, Work and University LocationsSource: Comscore Media Metrix
Business/Finance – Taxes
Travel – Ground/Cruise
Retail – Computer Software
Travel – Transactions
Travel – Hotels/Resorts
Health – Pharmacy
Business to Business
Career Services and Development – Career Resources
Travel – Online Travel Agents
Career Services and Development – Job Search
Comscore will be excluding the Top 50 Properties and the Top 50 Ad-Focus rankings until May 2010 when the hybrid transition period concludes.
About Comscore Media MetrixComscore 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.
About ComscoreComscore, 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.
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