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For only the second time, Google Sites edged out Yahoo Sites among US web properties in May, after finally having overtaken Yahoo to take the top spot in April, according to a comScore Media Metrix monthly analysis of US consumer activity at online properties.

With an audience of some 143.4 million visitors, Google edged out Yahoo, which had 142.9 million visitors.

Content categories showing gains in May included flowers/gifts/greetings, jewelry/luxury goods/accessories, coupon, and travel sites.

Top 50 Properties (Unique Visitors)

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Among the highlights:

  • Microsoft Sites, in third place with 121.3 million visitors, was not far behind Google and Yahoo.
  • Time Warner – Excluding AOL – moved up one position to #9 with 56 million visitors.
  • IRS.gov jumped 14 positions to #20 with 31 million visitors, propelled by Americans’ checking the status of tax refunds and stimulus checks.

Top 50 Ad Focus Ranking (Advertising Reach)

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Among the highlights:

  • Platform-A continued to lead the Ad Focus ranking, reaching 90% of the nearly 191 million Americans online in May.
  • 24/7 Real Media moved up three spots, to #15.
  • Turn, Inc. jumped six positions to #26, reaching 39% of the online population.

Top-Gaining Sites and Categories

“Mother’s Day was a key driver of web activity in May, as the convenience of online shopping for flowers and gifts drew many to retail sites,” commented Jack Flanagan, EVP of comScore Media Metrix.

“Summer travel was also on Americans’ minds this month as warmer weather and the end of the school year spurred vacation planning. With Americans feeling the pocket pinch of soaring gas prices, rising food costs and an unsteady market, scouring the internet for hot travel deals was essential for many to ensure an affordable summer vacation.”

Mother’s Day Traffic to Gift and Retail Sites

Flowers/gifts/greetings sites had traffic gains with the celebration of Mother’s Day on May 11. The category reached 42.4 million visitors, up 15% from April, making it the top-gaining category for the month.

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Other highlights:

  • AmericanGreetings Property led the category with 15.7 million visitors (up 5%), followed by Hallmark with 5.5 million visitors (up 23%).
  • Proflowers.com ranked third with nearly 5.5 million visitors, or a 319% gain versus April; it was one of the top-gaining properties for the month.

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  • The e-cards category also recorded traffic increases, as it grew 8% to more than 35 million visitors.
  • Other retail categories gained as a result of Mother’s Day, including jewelry/luxury goods/accessories (up 9% to 17.5 million visitors) and mall sites (up 9% to 29 million visitors).
  • MSN Shopping led the mall category with 7 million visitors, a 25-percent jump from April.

Coupon Sites Traffic Increases as Economic Concerns Rise

With rising consumer costs affecting many Americans, coupon-site traffic soar soared in May:

  • The category grew 11% to 24.5 million visitors during the month, as each of the top five sites in the category recorded double-digit gains.
  • Coupons, Inc. led the category with 7.2 million visitors (up 20%), followed by Eversave.com with 5.2 million visitors (up 13%) and CoolSavings.com with more than 5.1 million visitors (up 24%).

Summer Vacation Draws Many to Travel Sites

With Memorial Day marking the unofficial beginning of summer and vacation season, several travel categories achieved gains:

  • The travel-information category grew 9% to more than 47 million visitors, led by Travel Ad Network with 11.7 million visitors (up 7%), Yahoo Travel with 10 million visitors (up 5%), and Tripadvisor Sites with 8.2 million visitors (up 16%).
  • Online travel agent sites grew 7% to 45 million visitors, led by Expedia Inc. with 25.4 million visitors (up 8%), Travelocity with 12 million visitors (up 10%), and Orbitz.com with more than 9 million visitors.
  • Travel – ground/cruise sites also saw an increase, up 6% to 11.2 million visitors.

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