Comscore MMX Releases April Top 50 Web Rankings and Analysis; Real Estate Sites Experience Steady Gains, up 23 Percent Versus Year Ago
RESTON, VA, May 11, 2006 – Comscore MMX today released its monthly analysis of consumer activity at top online properties and categories. Among the notable trends during April were the marked increases in traffic to real estate sites, which grew 12 percent from the previous month and 23 percent in the past year. Homestore.com Network and MSN Real Estate led the category with 11.1 and 5.8 million visitors, respectively.
“Americans’ interest in real estate sites ballooned recently, due to the general angst in the real estate market and also because of some Web site innovations within the category. While visitation is up 23 percent versus year ago, the most significant gains have occurred during the past few months,” said Peter Daboll, president and CEO of Comscore MMX. “With the Fed raising rates and inventories on the rise, potential buyers and sellers are looking to the Internet to assess the current housing landscape. Zillow.com, which debuted in February, is already generating high traffic (2.3 million visitors in April) by providing consumers a way to compare real estate properties and obtain in-depth information without the assistance of an agent. Category gains may be symptomatic of a larger trend in real estate – and the Web in general – where the idea of ‘consumer control’ over information is causing significant shifts in shopping behavior. ”
Americans’ nesting instinct was also evidenced by the increase in traffic to home improvement/ home furnishing sites, which, in aggregate, experienced a 12-percent increase in April versus the prior month. Two bricks-and-mortar home improvement giants benefited from this interest online: The Home Depot, Inc. Sites experienced a 10-percent gain versus March with 10.8 million visitors, while Lowes.com rose 15 percent, to 8.3 million visitors.
Monitoring the “Gas Gouge” Online
Another noteworthy trend borne out online in April was Americans’ intense interest in tracking ever-rising gas prices. Gasbuddy Organization, which includes Gasbuddy.com, where consumers can search for the best local gas rates, saw visitor numbers more than triple in April compared to the previous month (from 755,000 to 2.3 million). In addition, Fueleconomy.gov, the site operated by the U.S. Department of Energy, saw an increase of 172 percent from March to April.
Seasonal spikes were evident in April among religion, retail gifts and flowers, and retail healthcare sites, as seen below in Table 2. Also notable was the 66-percent increase (versus March) in traffic to Technorati.com, the self-proclaimed “authority on… weblogs,” as well as increases to MLB.com (58 percent) and NFL Internet Group (29 percent), most likely attributable to the start of the baseball season and the NFL Draft, respectively. Finally, Japanese auto makers Toyota and Honda both showed significant traffic gains, up 49 and 33 percent, respectively during April.
Top 50 Properties
In April, Yahoo! Sites retained its ranking as the number one property in the U.S. with 128 million visitors, while MSN-Microsoft Sites regained its number two position, attracting more than 120 million visitors. On a worldwide basis, MSN-Microsoft Sites ranked highest in unique visitors in March, followed by Google and Yahoo! Sites, according to Comscore’s World Metrix, which was previewed for the first time last week.
Wikipedia Sites enjoyed another strong month in the U.S., reaching number 13 in the April ranking with a 17-percent increase compared to March. On a global basis, Wikipedia Sites ranked 7th in the March World Metrix report.
Domestically, the Real.com Network jumped nine spots to number 24 in April, drawing more than 23 million visitors, a 25-percent increase from March. On a global basis, the Real.com Network ranked number 13, according to Comscore World Metrix.
“It is interesting to see the global relationship of the top U.S. Web properties,” commented Mr. Daboll. “As the share of the U.S. audience continues to become a smaller percentage of the global universe, it is critically important to understand not only how sites rank domestically, but also how they perform with audiences around the world. Importantly, World Metrix is the only source for this information.”
Top 50 Ad Focus Ranking
In April, Advertising.com extended its reach to more than 83 percent of Americans online to retail the number one position for the 24th consecutive month. WebMD Health Network moved up five spots to number 30, reaching more than 5 million more Americans in April than in March. Tremor Network entered the Ad Focus ranking for the first time at number 15, reaching 40 percent of the U.S. population online.
Top Ten Gaining Properties by Percentage Change in Unique Visitors*April 2006 vs. March 2006Total U.S. Home, Work and University Internet UsersSource: Comscore MMX
Rank by Unique Visitors
Total Internet Population
The Mozilla Organization
NFL Internet Group
*Ranking based on the top 250 properties in April 2006.
Top Ten Gaining Categories by Unique VisitorsApril 2006 vs. March 2006Total U.S. Home, Work and University Internet UsersSource: Comscore MMX
Total Internet Population
Retail - Health Care
Retail - Flowers/Gifts/Greetings
Hobbies/Lifestyle - Food
Retail - Food
Hobbies/Lifestyle - Home
Retail – Mall
Top 50 PropertiesApril 2006Total U.S. Home, Work and University LocationsUnique Visitors (000)Source: Comscore MMX
Unique Visitors (000)
Total Internet Users
Bank of America
Time Warner Network
New York Times Digital
News Corp. Online
Verizon Communications Corporation
Weather Channel, The
United Online, Inc
Cox Enterprises Inc.
Trip Network Inc.
iVillage.com: The Womens Network
Apple Computer, Inc.
Gorilla Nation Media
Ad Focus Ranking April 2006Total U.S. - Home, Work and University LocationsUnique Visitors (000)Source: Comscore MMX
AOL Media Network
WebMD Health Network
Casale Media Network**
Vendare Media - TrafficMarketplace**
24/7 Real Media**
YAHOO.COM Home Page
Gorilla Nation Media Network
MSN.COM Home Page
EBAY.COM Home Page
FOX Sports on MSN
Reach % denotes the percentage of the total Internet population that viewed a particular entity at least once in April. For instance, Yahoo! was seen by 73 percent of the more than 171 million Internet users in April.* Entity has assigned some portion of traffic to other syndicated entities.** Denotes an advertising network.
About Comscore MMX
Comscore MMX, a division of Comscore Networks, provides industry-leading Internet audience measurement services that report – with unmatched accuracy – 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 MMX continues the tradition of quality and innovation established by its MMX 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 MMX syndicated ratings are based on industry-sanctioned sampling methodologies.
About Comscore Networks
Comscore Networks provides unparalleled insight into consumer behavior and attitudes. This capability is based on a massive, global cross-section of more than 2 million consumers who have given Comscore explicit 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.
PressBill DaddiDaddi Brand Communications646firstname.lastname@example.org