Google Sites remained the top Web property in the UK with nearly 29.3 million visitors, reaching 89% of the online population – while Facebook.com broke into the top 10 for the first time, according to comScore’s December rankings of the largest and fastest-growing UK internet properties and categories.
Top 25 Properties
Microsoft Sites ranked second with 27.8 million visitors, followed by eBay with 21.7 million visitors and Yahoo Sites with 21.1 million visitors, according to data from comScore‘s World Metrix audience measurement service.
Facebook.com, with 12.4 million visitors, displaced Fox Interactive Media (now #11), which includes myspace.com.
The Christmas shopping season helped Home Retail Group (#12), Apple Inc. (#13) and Dixons Stores Group (#19) each gain several spots in the December ranking.
Top Gaining Categories
Online retail factored prominently into the top-gaining site category rankings for December, at the culmination of the Christmas shopping season.
The consumer goods category gained 21% for the month to nearly 9.7 million visitors, while the mall category jumped 10% to 14.6 million visitors. The mall category was led by Argos with 12 million visitors (up 18% from November).
Greetings sites also grew in December. The e-cards category underwent a 26% increase to 8.2 million visitors, while the flowers/gifts/greetings category gained 12% to 6.9 million visitors. The shipping category grew 10% to 5.5 million visitors.
Top Gaining Properties
ValueClick Sites gained 38% to 3.5 million visitors, becoming the top-gaining property for the month in the UK. Fellow pure-play online retailer Play.com Sites increased visitors 12%, to 7.7 million.
Several multichannel retailers ranked among the top-gaining properties for December. NEXT Group increased 20% to 4.7 million visitors, Dixons Stores Group grew 20% to 8.1 million visitors, and HMV jumped 19% to 5.7 million visitors.
Royal Mail Group jumped 12% to 4.4 million visitors as consumers shipped holiday packages to friends and relatives.