Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Friday, February 08, 2008

Major Trends in U.S. Internet Brand Activity

ComScore studied the major trends in U.S. Internet activity in 2007, including top gaining properties and site categories, and core search market growth. The biggest winners in 2007 featured some of the top Internet brands, including Google, Facebook, Wikipedia and Craigslist.

A study of the growth in visitors among the top 100 U.S. Internet properties revealed that 2007 was a strong year for several of the largest properties. Social networking giant Facebook.com reaped the benefits of opening registration to all users, jumping 81 percent versus December 2006 to 34.7 million visitors in December 2007.

Wikipedia Sites gained 34 percent to reach nearly 52 million visitors, continuing its reign as the Web's most popular reference hub. Leading classified site Craigslist.org jumped 74 percent to 24.5 million visitors, while AT&T grew 27 percent to 30.2 million visitors boosted by its exclusive deal with Apple as carrier for the iPhone. Yellow Book Network jumped an impressive 137 percent to 10.4 million visitors.

The top-gaining site categories in 2007 reflected trends in both the online and offline worlds. The politics category grabbed the top position, gaining 35 percent, as the 2008 presidential election and primary season kicked into high gear.

Women's community sites also jumped 35 percent, as the top two properties in the category, Glam Media and iVillage.com, saw strong growth. With the ever-increasing coverage of celebrity news, entertainment news sites jumped 32 percent. Online classifieds had a strong 2007 growing 31 percent versus year ago, as it continued to impinge on traditional news media's classified revenues.

In 2007, searches at the five major core search engines increased 15 percent to 9.6 billion searches. Google Sites led with 5.6 billion searches in December 2007, up more than 30 percent from the previous year. Yahoo! Sites ranked second with 2.2 billion searches, followed by Microsoft Sites (940 million), Time Warner Network (442 million), and Ask Network (415 million).

More than 113 billion core searches were conducted in the U.S. during all of 2007, with Google Sites accounting for nearly 64 billion, representing a 56 percent share of the market.