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What Americans Do Online, Given the Bad Economy

There once was a time when a favorite American online activity was shopping, but given the current economic outlook many are now apparently spending more time on their finances.

Are they concerned about the rising price of basic commodities and their shrinking buying power in the marketplace?

comScore released its monthly analysis of U.S. web activity at the top online properties for July 2012. More Americans visited the Business and Finance category at the start of the third quarter of 2012, including Online Trading sites and Financial Advice sites.

"Millions of Americans visited the Business and Finance category in July for up-to-the-minute reporting on the unsteady financial markets and for a mid-year health check on their investments and other financial interests." said Jeff Hackett, executive vice president of comScore.

In July, two Business and Finance subcategories earned a spot in the top-gaining categories ranking, including the number one placeholder earned by Online Trading sites. The category increased 23 percent to 10.7 million visitors during the month, with Fidelity Investments ranking first with 3.7 million visitors (up 16 percent).

Scottrade Sites ranked second with 1.5 million visitors (up 40 percent), followed by Schwab.com with 1.4 million (up 18 percent) and TDAmeritrade.com with 1.3 million (up 16 percent).

Financial Information and Advice sites ranked fifth among the top-gaining categories, growing 10 percent to 58.2 million visitors in July.

Bankrate.com Sites took the top spot in the category with 9.9 million visitors, followed by Geico with 5.1 million (up 23 percent), Citi.com with 4.6 million (up 5 percent), Progressive Insurance Company with 3.7 million and USAA.com with 3.5 million (up 9 percent).

Top Overall Online Properties

Google Sites ranked as the number one property in July with 190 million visitors, followed by Microsoft Sites with 169 million, Yahoo! Sites with 163 million and Facebook.com with 161 million.

The highly anticipated Olympic Games drew 76.8 million visitors to Comcast NBCUniversal, vaulting the property into the top 10.

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