Yahoo Sites again edged out Google Sites among US web properties with 138 million visitors vs. nearly 135 million, as traffic to the tax, politics, career, real estate and travel category sites also increased, according to a monthly analysis by comScore‘s Media Metrix service.
Among the December data released by comScore:
Top 50 Properties (Unique Visitors)
Among the highlights:
- Third after Yahoo Sites and Google Sites was Microsoft Sites with 119 million visitors.
- During the month, large increases were experienced by the following properties; Superpages.com Network (rising 13 spots to position 19), Disney Online (up four spots to position 22), and Expedia Inc. (up nine spots to 32).
- CareerBuilder LLC entered the ranking this month grabbing position 27.
Beginning with January comScore Media Metrix data, Time Warner Network has been divided into AOL LLC, which includes all AOL-related entities, and Time Warner – excluding AOL.
Top 50 Ad Focus Ranking (Advertising Reach)
Among the highlights:
- Platform A, the ad network combining Advertising.com, Tacoda, AOL, and Quigo, debuted this month in the top spot in the Ad Focus Ranking, reaching 91% of the more than 184 million Americans online.
- Substantial gains were achieved by Adconion Media Group (up four spots to 14), PrecisionClick (up six spots to 35), and Kontera (up four spots to 36).
- Three entities joined the ranking this month: Turn, Inc., IACAS Network, and CNN.
High-Growth Sites & Categories
Tax Preparation Causes Category to Surge
The official beginning of tax season sent Americans online in droves, driving the tax category up 202% to more than 23 million visitors, making it the top-gaining category in January.
IRS.gov led the category with 12.5 million visitors (up 181%), followed by TaxACT with 5.8 million visitors (up more than 1,000%), and H&R Block with 5.3 million visitors (up 312%).
Heated Presidential Primaries Boost Traffic to Politics Sites
- The politics category jumped 65% to 13.8 million visitors as Americans went online for news coverage and opinions and to visit candidate Web sites.
- BarackObama.com led the category with 2.2 million visitors, up 429% from December, followed by HillaryClinton.com with 1.1 million visitors (up 202%).
- On the Republican side, MikeHuckabee.com attracted 937,000 visitors, up 96%, while JohnMcCain.com grew 261% to 596,000 visitors.
New Year = New Career
- As many Americans reevaluated their current career with the coming of the New Year, the career services and development category underwent a 31% gain for the month.
- The category was led by CareerBuilder LLC with 24.8 million visitors, followed by Yahoo HotJobs with 17.4 million visitors and Monster with 17.1 million visitors.
Real Estate Seasonal Growth
- Concerns over a shaky real estate market, along with those resolving to move residences in 2008, precipitated a 28% gain to 42 million visitors to the real estate category in January.
- Move Network led the category with 10.1 million visitors (up 49%), followed by Yahoo Real Estate with 4.6 million visitors (50%), and Rent.com with 3.5 million visitors (up 51%).
Winter Weather Prompts Vacation Planning
- Travel-related sites’ traffic increased as people looked to escape the winter doldrums and take advantage of post-holiday travel deals.
- Ground/cruise sites gained 27% to 11.3 million visitors, car rental sites grew 26% to 5.1 million visitors, and hotels/resorts gained 23% to nearly 31 million visitors.