Comscore Announces June Web Rankings and Major Enhancements to Careers Category Reporting

Rising Interest Rates, Travel and Fahrenheit 9/11 Heat Up the Web in June

RESTON, Va., July 16, 2004 – Comscore Media Metrix today released its monthly analysis of consumer Internet behavior. The analysis revealed that this summer’s surprise blockbuster, Fahrenheit 9/11, was a significant contributor to increases at a number of major online content categories. Many of this month’s other traffic increases were a result of summer rituals, such as concerts and sporting events, vacations and dieting, as well as non-seasonal events, including rising interest rates and corporate acquisitions.

In addition, Comscore Media Metrix announced a number of significant enhancements to its reporting of the Careers category. These enhancements, developed through extensive collaboration with clients, offer a more granular and commercially relevant view of activity in this highly competitive category.

Highlights of online behavior in June include:

  • In total, 1.3 million people visited three sites related to Fahrenheit 9/11 (Fahrenheit911.com, MichaelMoore.com and F911Tix.com). The movie also contributed to substantial increases at the Movies and Tickets categories.
  • Summer travel planning helped drive the Travel-Car Rental category up 17 percent, making it the top gaining category in June. Major increases at the top cruise vacation sites pushed the Travel-Ground/Cruises category into the top ten gainers for the second consecutive month.
  • Corporate acquisitions by Ask Jeeves, Monster Worldwide and InfoSpace Network were behind major increases in traffic to these properties.

“Travel sites once again posted traditional seasonal gains in June,” said Peter Daboll, president and CEO of Comscore Media Metrix. “Americans also turned to the Web to help them closer to home, seeking content related to other summer-centric topics such as movies, music, sporting events and food.”

For the second month in a row, both the Travel-Car Rental and Travel-Ground/Cruises categories were among the top ten gaining categories (see table 1). Within the Car Rental segment, Thrifty.com, Hertz.com, Avis.com, Dollar.com and Alamo.com all saw increases in unique visitors of at least ten percent between May and June. In Ground/Cruises, summer travelers drove increases at Amtrak.com, Greyhound Lines and many top cruise providers’ sites. In addition, traffic to United Airlines and Priceline.com jumped by 45 and 39 percent, respectively, landing these two sites among the top ten gaining properties in June (see table 2).

Fahrenheit 9/11, Spiderman 2, summer concerts and sporting events all contributed to a 12-percent increase in unique visitors to the Retail-Tickets category. Nearly every site in the category, including Moviefone, Fandango and Tickets.com, recorded double-digit traffic increases between May and June. Continued interest in music and movie clubs at Columbia House and BMG Music helped push the Retail-Music and Retail-Movies categories up by 17 and 10 percent, respectively.

The search for summer recipes was behind substantial gains at a number of top food-related sites. A 37-percent increase at KraftFoods.com helped push the Hobbies/Lifestyles-Food category up 11 percent. And with grilling season in full swing, OmahaSteaks.com and Cooking.com posted 34- and 41-percent increases, respectively, and helped drive the Retail-Food category up 14 percent. Another warm-weather ritual, the summer diet, helped the Health-Information category round out the top ten gaining categories with a monthly increase of 10 percent.

A string of corporate acquisitions was behind some the largest traffic increases this month. Ask Jeeves acquired Interactive Search Holdings, adding a number of major Web destinations to its portfolio, including MyWay, iWon, Excite and MySearch. As a result, Ask Jeeves reached 39 million unique visitors in June, an increase of 150 percent versus the prior month. Monster Worldwide’s purchase of social networking resource Tickle resulted in a 58-percent increase in traffic. The acquisition of Internet yellow pages site Switchboard helped InfoSpace draw a 44-percent increase in visitors.

Speculation about an increase in interest rates was likely behind an 11-percent increase in traffic to the Financial Information/Advice category. AmeriquestMortgage.com led the way with a 40-percent jump, landing it among the top ten gaining properties this month. Other top gainers included LendingTree.com (28 percent increase) and BankRate.com (22 percent).

Top 50 Properties
Two properties entered the top 10 properties this month (see table 3). Through its acquisition of Interactive Search Holdings, Ask Jeeves jumped 18 spots to assume the number 6 ranking. Monster Worldwide changed its name from “Monster” and acquired Tickle, Inc., which propelled it nine spots to the number 10 ranking in June. Infospace Network’s acquisition of Switchboard Networks boosted the property 13 spots to land at the number 20 ranking.

Sony Online and United Online, Inc. each jumped eight places from May to June. Traffic spikes at new online music service Sony Connect and the excitement surrounding Spiderman 2 content sent Sony Online flying high into the number 32 position, while United Online turned up promotional support for NetZero and took the number 25 position. Columbia House Sites, Priceline.com and Hotels.com Sites all entered the Top 50 in June.

Comscore Announces Enhancements to Careers Category Tracking
The highly competitive online career services sector has seen tremendous growth in the past year. In June 2004, nearly 47 million Americans visited the category, an increase of almost 50 percent versus 32 million in June 2003.

With the release of June data, Comscore announced a number of significant enhancements to its reporting of the Careers category. These changes allow Careers sites to be evaluated on a more level playing field, with increased granularity and commercial relevance.

The newly named Career Services and Development category will include sites that provide information and services related to finding a job or changing, developing or advancing one’s career and will be broken into the following subcategories:

  • Career Resources – includes sites that contain content or services for the following career-related areas: Job Details, Resume Posting, Career Advice, Salary Information, Interview Skills, Negotiation Skills (see table 5).
  • Job Search – provides increased visibility into “engaged usage” by specifically tracking results pages that visitors receive after conducting a job search (see table 6).
  • Training and Education – contains sites that provide education and training content and services that help people advance their careers and educations, such as CollegeBoard.com, PrincetonReview.com and FastWeb.

TABLE 1

Top Ten Gaining Categories by Unique Visitors
June 2004 vs. May 2004
Total U.S. Home, Work and University Internet Users
Source: Comscore Media Metrix
  May-04(000) Jun-04(000) Percentage Change
Total Internet Users 156,313 156,436 0%
Travel-Car Rental 5,125 5,998 17%
Retail-Music 25,650 29,902 17%
Travel-Ground/Cruise 7,913 9,148 16%
Retail-Food 10,263 11,650 14%
Retail-Tickets 26,602 29,759 12%
Hobbies/Lifestyles-Food 24,341 26,942 11%
Business/Finance-Financial Information/Advice 29,756 32,866 11%
Retail-Movies 22,323 24,645 10%
Career Services and Development 42,629 46,918 10%
Health-Information 36,996 40,666 10%

TABLE 2
 

Top Ten Gaining Properties by Percentage Change in Unique Visitors*
June 2004 vs. May 2004
Total U.S. Home, Work and University Internet Users
Source: Comscore Media Metrix
Property May-04
(000)
Jun-04
(000)
%
Change
Rank by
Unique Visitors
Total Internet Users 156,313 156,436 0% N/A
Ask Jeeves 15,728 39,275 150% 6
Monster Worldwide 17,624 27,803 58% 11
United Airlines 2,900 4,204 45% 179
InfoSpace Network 13,406 19,247 44% 21
Chance Warner 3,012 4,267 42% 175
AMERIQUESTMORTGAGE.COM 2,072 2,903 40% 246
PRICELINE.COM 7,718 10,701 39% 51
Barnes & Noble 4,625 6,243 35% 107
EDIETS.COM 5,565 7,381 33% 86
NEOPETS.COM 3,919 5,124 31% 139

*Ranking based on the top 250 properties in June

TABLE 3
 

Top 50 Properties
June 2004
Total U.S. - Home, Work and University Locations
Unique Visitors (000)
Source: Comscore Media Metrix
Rank Property Unique Visitors
(000)
  Rank Property Unique Visitors (000)
  Total Internet Users 156,436        
1 Yahoo! Sites 115,355   26 Intermix Media 17,273
2 MSN-Microsoft Sites 113,871   27 Wal-Mart 16,533
3 Time Warner Network 108,852   28 CareerBuilder LLC 16,306
4 Google Sites 63,710   29 iVillage.com: The Womens Network 15,941
5 eBay 58,311   30 Classmates.com Sites 15,632
6 Ask Jeeves 39,275   31 Trip Network Inc. 14,854
7 Terra Lycos 37,137   32 Sony Online 14,275
8 About/Primedia 34,223   33 Gannett Sites 14,026
9 Amazon Sites 32,855   34 AT&T Properties 13,954
10 Monster Worldwide 27,803   35 United Online, Inc 13,236
11 Viacom Online 26,721   36 AmericanGreetings Property 13,065
12 Verizon Communications Corporation 25,339   37 MyFamily Network 12,900
13 Real.com Network 23,855   38 News Corp. Online 12,754
14 Weather Channel, The 23,534   39 Bank of America 12,467
15 Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG) 22,706   40 Comcast Corporation 12,166
16 Weatherbug.com Property 22,509   41 Cox Enterprises Inc. 11,633
17 CNET Networks 21,280   42 Adobe Sites 11,315
18 Symantec 21,072   43 Earthlink 11,212
19 Shopping.com Sites 20,180   44 Travelocity 11,149
20 InfoSpace Network 19,247   45 Columbia House Sites 11,006
21 Expedia Travel 19,106   46 Target Corporation 10,864
22 ORBITZ.COM 18,393   47 PRICELINE.COM 10,701
23 SBC Communications 17,972   48 Macromedia 10,627
24 Gorilla Nation Media 17,925   49 Hotels.com Sites 10,592
25 EA Online 17,657   50 Hewlett Packard 10,449

TABLE 4

Ad Focus Ranking
Unique Visitors (000)
Total U.S. - Home, Work and University Locations
June 2004
Source: Comscore Media Metrix
Rank Property Unique Visitors
(000)
Reach %   Rank Property Unique Visitors (000) Reach %
  Total Internet Users 156,436 100%          
1 Advertising.com** 118,621 76%   26 Lycos 34,938 22%
2 Yahoo! 113,477 73%   27 AIM.COM/AIM App 31,784 20%
3 MSN 101,510 65%   28 EBAY.COM Home Page 31,221 20%
4 AOL 83,769 54%   29 Claria 31,217 20%
5 YAHOO.COM Home Page 76,058 49%   30 AOL Entertainment 29,517 19%
6 GOOGLE.COM 62,046 40%   31 My Yahoo! 28,661 18%
7 Yahoo! Search 60,072 38%   32 GATOR (App) 28,623 18%
8 Yahoo! Mail 59,409 38%   33 Monster Worldwide 27,803 18%
9 Yahoo! Web Search 58,818 38%   34 AOL Screenname 27,483 18%
10 Google Web Search 58,150 37%   35 AIMTODAY.COM 27,076 17%
11 MSN.COM Home Page 55,573 36%   36 Yahoo! Geocities 27,075 17%
12 MaxOnline** 52,578 34%   37 WindowsMedia 26,085 17%
13 Tribal Fusion** 51,235 33%   38 AOL Instant Message 25,389 16%
14 AOL Email 48,420 31%   39 AOL News 24,506 16%
15 MSN Search 48,311 31%   40 Yahoo! Messenger 24,356 16%
16 MSN Hotmail 48,127 31%   41 MSN Messenger Service 24,277 16%
17 AOL (APP) 47,560 30%   42 WINDOWSMEDIA.COM 24,247 16%
18 MaxOnline Network** 45,800 29%   43 Real.com Media Sites 23,516 15%
19 24/7 Real Media** 43,253 28%   44 AOL Instant Messenger (App) 23,438 15%
20 AOL Prop Email 42,895 27%   45 Yahoo! News 23,172 15%
21 Ask Jeeves 39,275 25%   46 WEATHER.COM 22,285 14%
22 AOL Search 37,460 24%   47 WeatherBug 22,251 14%
23 BURST! Media** 37,090 24%   48 GATOR.COM 21,862 14%
24 AOL Prop Search 35,371 23%   49 Gator Sites 21,862 14%
25 MAPQUEST.COM 35,233 23%   50 WEATHERBUG.COM 21,554 14%

**Indicates that the entity is an advertising network.

TABLE 5

Career Resources Subcategory
Unique Visitors (000)
Total U.S. - Home, Work and University Locations
June 2004
Source: Comscore Media Metrix
Rank   Entity Unique Visitors
(000)
    Total Internet Users 156,436
1   CareerBuilder LLC 16,306
2   Yahoo! HotJobs 14,796
3   MONSTER.COM (Careers Only) 12,166

TABLE 6
 

Job Search Subcategory
Unique Visitors (000)
Total U.S. - Home, Work and University Locations
June 2004
Source: Comscore Media Metrix
Rank   Entity Unique Visitors
(000)
    Total Internet Users 156,436
1   Monster.com Job Search 7,164
2   CareerBuilder.com Job Search 6,452
3   Yahoo! HotJobs Job Search 5,975

About Comscore Media Metrix
Comscore Media Metrix, 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 Media Metrix continues the tradition of quality and innovation established by its Media Metrix 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 Media Metrix 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 patent-pending 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 Microsoft, Verizon, Best Buy, The Newspaper Association of America, Knight Ridder Digital, Nestlé, Wells Fargo & Company, GlaxoSmithKline, and Orbitz. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com.

Contact:
Andrew Lipsman
Comscore, Inc.
+1 312 775 6510
press@comscore.com



 

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