Top 50 US Web Rankings Issued for August; Politics, Olympics Drive Traffic

September 17, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Media & Entertainment | Retail & E-Commerce

The usual suspects – Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL – were at the top of the rankings of US web properties in August, according to?a comScore Media Metrix monthly analysis of US consumer activity at online properties.

The Olympics and the US Presidential campaign were the main drivers of internet activity during the month, resulting in strong gains at politics, sports, news and humor sites, comScore said, adding that the start of another academic year also resulted in growth at education and retail/consumer goods sites.

Below, the findings issued by comScore:

Top 50 Properties (Unique Visitors)

Google Sites maintained the lead position in the “Top Properties” ranking, reaching 144.7 million Americans in August, while Yahoo Sites ranked second with 141.5 million visitors and Microsoft Sites ranked third with 123.5 million visitors:

comscore-top-50-online-properties-us-august-2008.jpg

  • Target Corporation and Bank of America both climbed three spots this month with Target rising to No. 22 with 30.5 million visitors and Bank of America reaching No. 30 with 25.6 million visitors.
  • The beginning of football season helped propel ESPN seven positions to No. 36 with more than 22 million visitors.
  • Answers.com Sites (No. 45), WorldNow/ABC-Owned Sites (No. 47) and NBC Universal (No. 50) each entered the rankings in August.

Top 50 Ad Focus Ranking (Advertising Reach)

comscore-ad-focus-ranking-us-august-2008.jpg

  • Platform-A, which includes Advertising.com, Quigo and other ad networks, led the Ad Focus ranking in August, reaching 90% of the nearly 189 million Americans online.
  • Google Ad Network moved up one spot in the ranking, capturing the second position with a reach of 156.4 million visitors.
  • Yahoo Network claimed the third spot, reaching 156.2 million visitors in August.

Top-Gaining Sites and Categories

Top-gaining web properties:

comscore-top-10-gaining-properties-us-august-2008.jpg

Top-gaining site categories:

comscore-top-10-gaining-categories-us-august-2008.jpg

“The Olympics dominated the headlines in August, and Americans’ internet activity reflected their keen interest in their country’s performance at the games,” commented Jack Flanagan, EVP of comScore Media Metrix.

“With the time difference between Beijing and the US creating a substantial lag between many of the live events and their subsequent national broadcast, the internet was especially critical in keeping Americans current with the latest event results and medal counts.”

Olympics Drives Surge at Sports and News Sites

The official Olympic site Beijing2008.cn captured the top spot among the fastest-gaining properties during the month. The site realized a twelvefold increase in August with 5.8 million visitors.

The Olympics generated the most substantial gains in the sports and news categories. Sports grew 26% to more than 93 million visitors in August, led by Yahoo Sports with 38.5 million visitors (up 76%), NBC Sports with 23.8 million visitors (up 740%) and ESPN with 22 million visitors (up 23%). The category also benefitted from pre-season interest in the 2008 NFL season.

Meanwhile, general news sites grew 10% to 105 million visitors. MSNBC led the category with 44.5 million visitors (up 53%), with much of the site’s increase due to the flood of visitors to NBCOlympics.com site. Yahoo News, ranking second in the category, grew 15% to 44.3 million visitors, while CNN ranked third with more than 32 million visitors (up 12%).

Political Party Conventions and Campaign Activity Drive Traffic to Political Sites

As the Democratic National Convention closed out the month with the Republican National Convention following on its heels, the politics category surged 33% to 14 million visitors as many Americans directed their attention to this historic Presidential contest.

The category, which was the fastest growing for the month, was led by BarackObama.com with nearly 4 million visitors (up 113% from July), while JohnMcCain.com climbed 108% to 1.4 million visitors.

The entertainment – humor category also witnessed strong gains this month, growing 12% to 16.5 million visitors, in part due to the success of a viral comedy video relating to the presidential race. Comedic video site FunnyOrDie.com jumped 256% to 2.4 million visitors as people flocked to the site to view Paris Hilton’s video response to John McCain’s ‘Celebrity’ ad, which featured Hilton as a way of deriding Senator Obama’s celebrity status.

Back-to-School Season Prompts Growth at Education and Consumer Goods Sites

August marked the beginning of another school year for many students, resulting in gains to education and retail – consumer goods sites. Education sites grew 9% to 96 million visitors, with each of the five most-visited sites in the category experiencing double-digit growth during the month.

The category was led by Dictionary.com with 10.9 million visitors (up 24%), followed by Pearson Education with 9.9 million visitors (up 30%) and Answers.com with 8.4 million visitors (up 26%).

The retail – consumer goods category grew 9% to 24.6 million visitors, propelled by large increases at several office supplies sites. Category-leader Staples.com Sites jumped 22% to nearly 8 million visitors, while Office Depot increased 10% to 5.3 million visitors and OfficeMax increased 39% to 2.6 million visitors.

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