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Most frequently visited websites – not what you’d expect April 20, 2007

Posted by jeremyliew in Consumer internet, Internet.
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March’s Comscore numbers just came out. I took a look at the top 2000 web domains, but this time I ranked them by number of visits per month. The results were a little surprising. Here are the 41 sites that were visited 10 times or more on average by US internet users in the month of March 2007:

Most frequently visited websites

Let’s peel back the onion a little, and look at these websites by category. Twenty one of the websites – more than half, fall into the category of homepage.

Frequently visited websites by category

Many of these are ISP websites (e.g. Adelphia.com, Optonline.net, Compuserve.com, Peoplepc.com etc), with the balance being portals and search engines (aol.com, yahoo.com, live.com, google.com, etc). One anomaly jumps out – officialsearchlist.org. It turns out that Officalsearchlist.org has around 600k users and they looked at only 16m pageviews from their 9m visits to the site, spending on average 30 seconds. This suggests a relatively low level of engagement. It may be that some of the users of this site have had their homepage reset to officialsearchlist.org and don’t know how to change it. The site has a large section of myspace layouts and it is possible that some less experienced users changed their homepage while getting a myspace layout.

The high proportion of homepages in the list of most frequently visited sites emphasizes the power of the default, which I have posted on before in a slightly different context. Inertia is a powerful force, not to be underestimated. Capturing the first page that a user sees when they start their browser can drive a lot of usage.

The next category on the list is gaming, with four sites; World Of Warcraft, Pogo, Webkinz and Runescape. I’m sure most readers will be familiar with WoW, Pogo and Runescape. Webkinz is a very interesting offline toy – online game hybrid launched by Ganz in late 2005. Ganz has been making plush toys for years, but with Webkinz they gave each toy a unique secret code that allows kids to take care of their pet/toy online and play games with it. It has gone from nothing to over 4m UU/mth since then. Webkinz is part of a very interesting trend towards offline-online hybrid services that I will explore more in a later post.

The Warez/Download category also has four sites on the list. Overall traffic levels for these sites are all sub one million (versus the gaming sites which were all in excess of 4 million with the exception of WoW at 1.7m). It’s not a surprise that people like to get free music and movies.

Communications and Social Networking sites have three representatives on the list (Myspace, Facebook and Hotmail). They are all huge – between 20-60m UU/mth and between 6-43 billion PV/mth. Communications/webmail are also a major driver of portal site traffic. The three count likely under-represents the importance of communication as a driver for frequent visitation of online websites.

The “Other” category is a bit of a hodgepodge, with each site worth looking at individually. I’m not sure that any lessons can be drawn from them as a whole:

    ALURIASOFTWARE.COM. Anti-spyware software – likely updating spyware signatures at each log-in.
    DRUDGEREPORT.COM. Often controversial news site – devotees may be bigger news junkies than followers of other news sites?
    CHRYSLER.COM. Chrysler said that it intended to spend over $1bn in online advertising in the second half of 2006. Perhaps its paying off? Although GM.com wasn’t far behind at 9.8 visits/month, other Auto OEMs like Toyota and Ford had just 2 visits/month.
    WHATISMYIP.COM. Tells you your IP address. Can’t explain why this gets so much usage.
    CLEMSON.EDU. Clemson University’s website. This may be set as the homepage for Clemson university students?
    ADP.COM. ADP provides HR services such as payroll, 401k, and benefits administration. It also offers time and labor management on a SaaS basis – perhaps some workers need to clock their hours on ADP’s website to make sure that they get paid accurately?
    TDAMERITRADE.COM. Are they the online broker of choice for active traders? Schwab and eTrade average just over 5 visits per month.
    PLENTYOFFISH.COM. Free personals website. This rate of visitation is significantly higher than that of paid dating sites such as Match.com. Perhaps free is good, just as with the Warez sites. Oddly though, the other free personals website, okcupid, does not see the same high visitation rates that Plenty of fish does.

    Am I missing a connection with some of these sites in the “Other” category? Some plausible explanations in comments – add your thoughts!

Comments»

1. Reluctant Blogger » Comscore Methodology? Anyone? (or forget MySpace, I’m logging on to ADP.com!) - April 20, 2007

[…] Liew of Lightspeed Ventures has an interesting analysis up of the latest Comscore […]

2. Morgan Goeller - April 20, 2007

My guess is that whatismyip.com is being used in an automated fashion by scripts run on machines with dynamic IP addresses. I am not sure that it is people that are using this web site, more likely that it is machines posing as people.

The high ranking leads me to believe that this service is being used by zombie machines to ascertain where they are and to do things that require direct, two-way communcation. It makes sense, as if a bot has anything hard-coded it could lead back to its master. At the same time, this might be a good way for the anti-virus folks to better detect bot activity.

3. jeremyliew - April 20, 2007

Dorte,

Since Second Life is an app, it probably doesn’t get measured by Comscore’s count of website usage (unless its website is getting called by the ap itself)

4. Dave - April 20, 2007

How can you analyze this data without knowing the methodology and sampling method? Last I looked, Comscore was getting suckers to install its RelevantKnowledge spyware for trinkets and beads, using the same tactics as spyware writers. Several schools (though not Clemson obviously) have blocked them.

http://www.cit.cornell.edu/computer/security/marketscore/

If that’s still the case it’s no wonder that warez sites are on the list.

5. Gopi - April 20, 2007

whatismyip.com is used by many people in tech support. When people call they ask them to login to whatismyip.com and report back what they see.

Its sold in ebay, couple of years ago i think

6. DemeterSF - April 20, 2007

Second Life is an app, and as such, doesn’t have page view count. Up until recently, the ap wasn’t even recorded in comScore (the webpages were though).

As for WhatsMyIP.com, this one showed up in my list of movers and shakers as well (based on a lot more metric than visits so I am confident this is legitimate). I’ve verified with comScore that the hits are not generated by bots, so I am at a complete lost as to how to explain its popularity.

7. Sandeep - April 20, 2007

sounds a bit incredible!

8. Dorte Toft - April 20, 2007

Any sign of Second Life or don’t Linden Lab allow others to keep tab?

9. BiNiKu - April 20, 2007

whatismyip.com mostly use by online gamers.

10. Go WoW! W00t. « - April 20, 2007

[…] Most frequently visited websites – not what you’d expect « Lightspeed Venture Partners Blog […]

11. Bruce - April 20, 2007

A Very Important Note:

This list is ranked by “number of visits per user per month”…

Not by “number of visitors per month”…

This is a critical distinction no one should miss.

In other words, these are the sites people RE-visit most OFTEN…

Not the most visited sites…

Bruce Wagner

http://brucewagner.com

12. Mark "Rizzn" Hopkins - April 20, 2007

ADP is probably really hit hard this month due to Tax Season – a lot of payroll services communicate with sites like TurboTax to autoload the years taxes into the system.

13. Ted - April 20, 2007

Drude Report refreshes itself every 30 seconds automatically. Related?

14. Brandon Hopkins - April 20, 2007

I think that many of these are automated launches…http traffic doesn’t have to be directed through a browser.

15. disembedded - April 20, 2007

CLEMSON.EDU catches not only the Clemson student body; it also has a HUGE, extremely loyal alumni football following that helps to build up its base. They stick with the website all year-round, beyond football season.

16. infiniti - April 20, 2007

timewarner installers use whatismyip.com when the set up your high speed the first time. just a thought.

17. agum - April 20, 2007

Yes, Drudge refreshes his page 20 times an hour. While he’s still a popular aggregator, most of his “visits” are as much of a crock as his anonymously sourced exclusives.

http://www.valleywag.com/tech/traffic-tricks/matt-drudge's-spin-243614.php

18. Timothy Bryce - April 20, 2007

Drudge is due to the automatic refresh.

19. brandoj - April 20, 2007

clemsontigers.com is the sports webpage. As the article suspects, Clemson’s IT department requires the installation of a lot of novell bogusness and indeed sets the homepage of any browser on the system to clemson.edu

20. taggle.org - April 20, 2007

Les vrais sites US les + visités

Comscore a publié une liste des 41 sites les plus visités réellement aux US et ce n’était pas ce ŕ quoi on s’attendait !
Trés inscructif pour le coup !

21. Nomadishere : Seeker of Truth » Blog Archive » links for 2007-04-20 - April 20, 2007

[…] Most frequently visited websites – not what you’d expect « Lightspeed Venture Partners Blog (tags: traffic comscore websites) […]

22. Top Posts « WordPress.com - April 20, 2007

[…] Most frequently visited websites – not what you’d expect March’s Comscore numbers just came out. I took a look at the top 2000 web domains, but this time I ranked them by […] […]

23. rick - April 21, 2007

Markus from Plenty of Fish blogs a ton about his traffic and the other players including okcupid. Fantastic insights, even if his english is barely comprehensible.

http://plentyoffish.wordpress.com/

http://plentyoffish.wordpress.com/2006/10/30/union-square-ventures-funds-okcupid/

24. Most frequently revisted websites | Opinion is free - April 21, 2007

[…] Comscore numbers have been released. Jeremy Liew has done an interesting analysis on the figures, the results may surprise […]

25. 10 Most visited sites last month at Charl Norman dot com - April 21, 2007

[…] to data compiled by Jeremy Liew, here are the top 20 most visited sites (visited at least 10 times per user in […]

26. Car News Blog - April 22, 2007

Wow I had no idea plentyoffish got that many visitors. Never would have guessed it would be ranked so high.

Paul

27. The ITK Group Blog » Most frequently visited websites - not what you’d expect (USA) - April 23, 2007

[…] Source   […]

28. March’s ‘Most Frequently’ Visited Sites | Internet Marketing Blog - April 23, 2007

[…] to data compiled by Jeremy Liew, here are the top 20 most visited sites (visited at least 10 times per user in […]

29. March’s ‘Most Frequently’ Visited Sites | Internet Marketing Blog - April 23, 2007

[…] to data compiled by Jeremy Liew, here are the top 20 most visited sites (visited at least 10 times per user in […]

30. Top US websites by user visits. « The Paradigm Shift - April 24, 2007
31. Zoltan - April 24, 2007

Great information. I find it strange that no big news website is in this list. Does that mean we do not read news that much often….?

32. jonau - April 24, 2007

Never heard of most of those. Only 19.2 for google – I would have thought there would be a lot more! No photo or video sharing sites there?

33. John - April 24, 2007

Amazing how few of those websites I’ve even heard of…Too bad our website isn’t in there: http://www.gigatribe.com !!!!

34. Alex - April 24, 2007

do you know those guys in position 1 & 2? Am i missing something?

35. emerge | Sveriges populäraste sajter - på riktigt - April 25, 2007

[…] sajter efter antalet besök per vecka? Sagt och gjort. Likt det amerikanska riskkapitalföretaget Lightspeed som med det officiella Comscore-datat möblerat om topplistan kommer här den inofficiella listan […]

36. cutiepootootie - April 28, 2007

who has the most webkinz

37. Welche Webseite hat die treusten Besucher - QuiPly - May 15, 2007

[…] Die Statistik bezieht sich zwar nur auf die USA, aber das Resultat ist sehr bemerkenswert. Hier ist die ganze Statistik. […]

38. Near-Mint Heroes » Archive » More Misc. Links - May 17, 2007

[…] The most frequently visited websites. #8 is WorldofWarcraft.com […]

39. Rick - June 27, 2007

http://www.edirection.com was visited more than plentyoffish.com

40. What are the Most frequently visited websites? | Internet Business Resources - November 6, 2007

[…] I came across an interesting post from Lightspeed Venture Partners Blog: Most frequently visited websites – not what you’d expect […]

41. Milan Kubic - February 7, 2008

My comment is that I hoped to find the names of the best/most often visited blogs with information about health care — drugs, vaccine and such product — and didn’t find any. Any suggestions where I should look?

42. jeremyliew - February 7, 2008

@ Milan – try RightHealth.com (a Lightspeed portfolio company!)

43. Jude - March 8, 2008

mostholyfamilymonastery is going to blow them all away, very soon. Look at the unique visitors too!

44. Most Frequently Visited Websites « domkop - March 20, 2008

[…] This is just a little spreadsheet to give you an Idea of what the ratings were, but the Full details and comparisons can be viewed here. […]

45. Cash Flow Today with Hey Don - March 30, 2008

How did Clemson rate so high . . . do they provide a lot of long distance educational classes?

46. Nairobian Perspective - June 11, 2008

thanks for the info, the analysis ,the data..makes it quite useful

47. DaithĂ­ - June 19, 2008

I would have thought Youtube would be up there no?

48. Carmen Vj - August 28, 2008

Exactly. These are the sites people revisit more often than other sites. If one can get one to visit their sites, this is where the traffic really is.
I am quite sure this list has probably changed at this point. This info has been very healthful and good to know. Thanks.

49. מתנפחים - November 23, 2008

google are the best!

50. browser games - March 2, 2009

nice list! but very different compared to alexa

51. Ako - April 26, 2009

Impossible!

Google should be the most visited site.

52. shiva - May 31, 2009

completely wrong ! google is most visited webdite followed by yahoo and facebook !

53. jradke138 - June 4, 2009

I am just really surprised google was that low on that list. I did not expect runescape to be on that list at all I guess it has gotten pretty popular. All of use bloggers on wordpress should promote wordpress to get it on there lol

http://jradke138.wordpress.com

54. Facebook Applications - September 24, 2009

Wow. Nice stats, Really great

55. Chris P. - December 13, 2009

I’d be happy to crack the top 100!

Chris

56. Jason Smith - May 1, 2010

This blog is great and very informative! I will keep checking it out, I am also adding a link to your site onto mine :)

57. naveen srikantaiah - May 17, 2010

Is this data the latest one i see face book as the no 1 site which has most number of hits per day

58. Sports Cars - August 31, 2010

Interesting reading! I hope sometimes my website will be featured on similar kind of list!

59. griffino - October 26, 2010

good job writing this article

60. Robert Bloch - March 2, 2011

Superb artcile. Thanks for the useful information.

61. zeeshan1153 - April 16, 2012

RelevantKnowledge is not a malicious program. It’s a research software installed with the user’s
permission. RelevantKnowledge is part of an online market research community with over 2 million
members worldwide. By participating in periodic surveys, users can receive free select software
sponsored by RelevantKnowledge. If a user decides to uninstall the program for any reason, they can do
so through control panel. We provide instruction for uninstalling RelevantKnoweldge in the FAQ section
of our website: http://www.relevantknowledge.com/faq.aspx. If you have any questions, feel free to
contact us at https://www.relevantknowledge.com/supportform.aspx

Thank you,

Relevant Knowledge Support Team


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