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RIA & Ajax: Article

comScore Announces New 'Visits' Metric For Measuring User Engagement

comScore Media Metrix Releases February Top 50 Web Rankings and Analysis

RESTON, Va., March 14 /PRNewswire/ -- comScore Media Metrix today released its monthly analysis of U.S. consumer activity at top online properties and categories for February 2007 and introduced a new suite of metrics based on site "visits." The "visits" metric, defined as the number of times a unique person accesses content within a Web entity with breaks between access of at least 30 minutes, is a way of measuring the frequency with which a person views content, thereby illustrating a key component of user engagement. Included among the new suite of metrics are: total visits, average minutes per visit, average visits per visitor, and average visits per usage day.

"As technologies like AJAX change the Internet landscape, certain measures of engagement, such as page views, are diminishing in significance for many Web properties," said Jack Flanagan, executive vice president of comScore Media Metrix. "The introduction of these new metrics based on 'visits' provides an alternative for measuring user engagement that tells us how frequently visitors are actually returning to the site to view more content."

'Visits' an Effective Gauge of Frequency

While each of the "visits" metrics offers a different measure of frequency, the "average visits per visitor" is the most illustrative of return visits per unique individual during the course of a month. Used in concert with the "unique visitors" metric, this measure can help give a more comprehensive view of a site's performance.

In February, Yahoo! Sites ranked as the top Web property by both unique visitors (128.6 million) and average visits per visitor (28.6). Despite the congruence between Yahoo! Sites' rankings, the remaining portions of the top ten rankings show some marked differences between the two metrics:

-- Facebook.com, the 36th most-visited site with 16.7 million unique visitors in February, proved to be one of the most engaging sites, ranking second with 23.6 average visits per visitor during the month. -- Microsoft Sites, which ranked behind Time Warner Network and Google Sites in terms of visitors, eclipsed both competitors by ranking third with 21.8 average visits per visitor. -- Weatherbug, the 48th most-visited property, was the fifth-most engaging property (as measured by average visits per visitor); Comcast Corporation, the 33rd most-visited property, was the eighth most- engaging property; EA Online, the 60th most-visited property, was the ninth most-engaging property; and Earthlink, the 66th most visited property, was the tenth most-engaging property. TABLES 1 & 2 Top 10 Properties by Unique Top 10 Properties by Average Visitors (000) Visits per Visitor February 2007 February 2007 Total U.S.-- Home, Work and Total U.S.-- Home, Work and University Locations University Locations Source: comScore Media Metrix Source: comScore Media Metrix Rank Property Unique Visitors Rank Property Average (000) Visits/Visitor Total Internet Total Internet Users 175,653 Visits 64.2 1 Yahoo! Sites 128,559 1 Yahoo! Sites 28.6 2 Time Warner Network 117,942 2 Facebook.com 23.6 3 Google Sites 114,694 3 Microsoft Sites 21.8 4 Microsoft Sites 114,155 4 Time Warner Network 19.4 5 eBay 79,559 5 Weatherbug Property 17.7 6 Fox Interactive Media 77,969 6 Google Sites 17.7 7 Amazon Sites 48,905 7 Fox Interactive Media 16.9 8 Ask Network 48,722 8 Comcast Corporation 16.9 9 Wikipedia Sites 43,656 9 EA Online 13.6 10 New York Times Digital 39,769 10 Earthlink 12.1 Will You Be My Valentine?

Interest in the Valentine's Day holiday made Flowers/Gifts/Greetings the top gaining category in terms of visitors in February (up 28 percent overall). The AmericanGreetings Property led the category with 11.2 million visitors (up 37 percent), followed by Hallmark with 8.6 million visitors (up 54 percent) and FTD.com (the biggest overall gainer) with 3.7 million visitors (up 217 percent). In addition, 1-800-Flowers, the second-biggest gainer overall for the month, jumped 106 percent to 3.5 million visitors; and 123Greetings.com, the fifth-biggest gainer overall, increased 77 percent to 6.2 million visitors.

The Jewelry/Luxury Goods/Accessories category also benefited from the "Season of Love," growing 10 percent versus January. Leading the category was RedEnvelope.com with 2.1 million visitors (up 12 percent), Coach.com with 2 million visitors, and Tiffany & Co. with 1.4 million visitors (up 50 percent).

For Your Consideration - the World Wide Web

Visitation to Entertainment-News sites spiked in February due to heavy interest in the annual Academy Awards and the untimely death of model and celebrity Anna Nicole Smith. Leading the category was TMZ with 8.4 million visitors (up 35 percent), People with 5.5 million visitors (up 42 percent) and TVGuide Online with 4.2 million visitors (up 3 percent). Other notable gainers included AccessHollywood.com with 1.3 million visitors (up 133 percent), ET Online with 1 million visitors (up 100 percent), Alloy with 5.2 million visitors (up 77 percent) and BBC News-Entertainment with 1.1 million visitors (up 51 percent).

Taxes and Travel Categories Continue to Grow

Visitation to tax sites continued to increase in February, growing 22 percent overall versus January. Leading the category was IRS.gov with 17.3 million visitors (up 30 percent), TaxACT with 6.4 million visitors (up 56 percent) and H&R Block: Taxes with 4 million visitors (up 1 percent). In addition, traffic to Intuit.com, developer of finance software packages such as TurboTax, Quicken and QuickBooks, increased 16 percent to 12.3 million visitors.

Travel sites also proved popular in February as consumers planned their spring vacations. Traffic to the Ground/Cruise travel category increased 11 percent to 11.3 million visitors overall, driven in part by the 43-percent increase to Carnival Cruise Lines (2.4 million visitors), the 74-percent increase to Princess.com (1.1 million visitors), the 123-percent increase to HollandAmerica (737,000 visitors), and the 230-percent increase to BestPriceCruises.com (388,000 visitors).

Top 50 Properties

In February, Yahoo! Sites remained at the number one position, attracting more than 128 million unique visitors, while Google Sites moved up one spot to number three with nearly 115 million unique visitors. Gorilla Nation enjoyed a nine spot jump to number 15, increasing 23 percent from January. With the onset of tax season, IRS.gov entered the Top 50 Properties ranking in February at number 32, drawing more than 17 million unique visitors.

Top 50 Ad Focus

February saw Advertising.com retain the number one position, again reaching 85 percent of the U.S. online population. Within the top ten, Casale Media Network gained another spot in the ranking, moving up to number 4, and reaching more than 113 million Americans online. Precision Click, Undertone Networks, and CNN each gained three spots, claiming positions 16, 34, and 37, respectively. Finally, Specific Media enjoyed a strong debut in the Ad-Focus ranking at number 12, reaching nearly 91 million Americans online.

TABLE 3 Top 10 Gaining Properties by Percentage Change in Unique Visitors* February 2007 vs. January 2007 Total U.S. Home, Work and University Internet Users Source: comScore Media Metrix Rank by Property Jan-07 Feb-07 Percentage Unique (000) (000) Change Visitors Total Internet Population 175,559 175,653 0% N/A FTD.COM 1,163 3,681 217% 239 1-800-Flowers 1,679 3,460 106% 249 NASCAR.COM 2,418 4,679 93% 194 Alloy 2,920 5,169 77% 170 123GREETINGS.COM 3,500 6,189 77% 146 TaxACT 4,057 6,348 56% 141 Hallmark 5,601 8,608 54% 99 WEBKINZ.COM 2,858 4,380 53% 203 PureVideo Network 3,252 4,725 45% 193 BUY.COM 2,730 3,965 45% 222 *Ranking based on the top 250 properties in February 2007. TABLE 4 Top 10 Gaining Categories by Unique Visitors February 2007 vs. January 2007 Total U.S. Home, Work and University Internet Users Source: comScore Media Metrix Jan-07 Feb-07 Percentage (000) (000) Change Total Internet : Total Audience 175,559 175,653 0% Flowers/Gifts/Greetings 29,353 37,431 28% Taxes 22,420 27,257 22% Ground/Cruise 10,203 11,336 11% Jewelry/Luxury Goods/Accessories 15,908 17,494 10% Discussion/Chat 46,758 51,314 10% Computer Software 30,216 32,506 8% Entertainment - News 35,484 38,081 7% Automotive-Manufacturer 23,165 24,610 6% Genealogy 8,077 8,529 6% Weather 61,465 64,765 5% TABLE 5 Top 50 Properties February 2007 Total U.S. - Home, Work and University Locations Unique Visitors (000) Source: comScore Media Metrix Unique Unique Rank Property Visitors Rank Property Visitors (000) (000) Total Internet Users 175,653 1 Yahoo! Sites 128,559 26 Bank of America 21,695 2 Time Warner Network 117,942 27 Verizon Communications Corporation 21,265 3 Google Sites 114,694 28 CareerBuilder LLC 20,834 4 Microsoft Sites 114,155 29 Travelport 19,160 5 eBay 79,559 30 Gannett Sites 18,619 6 Fox Interactive Media 77,969 31 Real.com Network 18,032 7 Amazon Sites 48,905 32 IRS.GOV 17,319 8 Ask Network 48,722 33 Comcast Corporation 16,986 9 Wikipedia Sites 43,656 34 Photobucket.com LLC 16,751 10 New York Times Digital 39,769 35 Shopzilla.com Sites 16,744 11 Viacom Digital 39,128 36 FACEBOOK.COM 16,737 12 Weather Channel, The 37,374 37 WebMD Health 16,466 13 Apple Computer, Inc. 36,767 38 E.W. Scripps 16,346 14 CNET Networks 29,881 39 Yellowpages.com Network 16,274 15 Gorilla Nation 29,098 40 CRAIGSLIST.ORG 15,991 16 AT&T, Inc. 27,391 41 Cox Enterprises Inc. 15,709 17 Adobe Sites 26,035 42 Ticketmaster 15,666 18 Wal-Mart 25,125 43 WhitePages 15,314 19 Expedia Inc 25,060 44 Idearc Media 15,236 20 United Online, Inc 24,773 45 ESPN 15,207 21 CBS Corporation 23,045 46 NBC Universal 15,189 22 Target Corporation 23,038 47 iVillage.com: The Womens Network 15,149 23 Monster Worldwide 22,794 48 Weatherbug Property 15,025 24 Lycos, Inc. 22,341 49 JPMorgan Chase Property 14,901 25 Disney Online 21,959 50 Best Buy Sites 14,085 TABLE 6 Ad Focus Ranking February 2007 Total U.S. - Home, Work and University Locations Unique Visitors (000) Source: comScore Media Metrix Unique Unique Visitors Reach Visitors Reach Rank Property (000) % Rank Property (000) % Total Internet Users 175,653 100% 1 Advertising.com** 149,094 85% 26 ContextWeb** 44,903 26% 2 ValueClick** 128,754 73% 27 AdDynamix.com** 44,685 25% 3 Yahoo! 126,484 72% 28 EBAY.COM Home Page 44,583 25% 4 Casale Media Network** 113,193 64% 29 CPX Interactive** 43,443 25% 5 Tribal Fusion** 111,285 63% 30 Vibrant Media** 41,413 24% 6 AOL Media Network 108,939 62% 31 YOUTUBE.COM 34,413 20% 7 Google 107,977 61% 32 ABOUT.COM 34,273 20% 8 Vendare NetBlue - TrafficMarketplace ** 103,909 59% 33 Interclick** 32,355 18% 9 MSN-Windows Live 96,658 55% 34 Undertone Networks** 28,224 16% 10 Blue Lithium** 92,011 52% 35 WEATHER.COM 27,829 16% 11 DRIVEpm** 91,925 52% 36 Business.com Network 24,665 14% 12 Specific Media** 90,851 52% 37 CNN 22,915 13% 13 24/7 Real Media** 89,750 51% 38 Lycos Network 22,192 13% 14 AOL 88,867 51% 39 Disney Online 21,959 13% 15 YAHOO.COM Home Page 85,892 49% 40 CareerBuilder Network 21,577 12% 16 PrecisionClick** 75,983 43% 41 The WebMD Health Network 19,012 11% 17 Tremor Media 74,944 43% 42 IMDB.COM 18,980 11% 18 EuroClick** 73,620 42% 43 EXPEDIA.COM* 17,745 10% 19 EBAY.COM 71,027 40% 44 Local Media Network 16,866 10% 20 Burst Media** 70,262 40% 45 FACEBOOK.COM 16,737 10% 21 AdBrite** 65,646 37% 46 WEATHER.COM Home Page 16,728 10% 22 MYSPACE.COM 64,443 37% 47 PHOTOBUCKET.COM 15,883 9% 23 Gorilla Nation Media 61,091 35% 48 WhitePages Network 15,289 9% 24 MSN.COM Home Page 51,222 29% 49 SuperPages.com Network 15,225 9% 25 Ask Network 48,722 28% 50 ESPN 15,207 9% Reach % denotes the percentage of the total Internet population that viewed a particular entity at least once in February. For instance, Yahoo! was seen by 72 percent of the more than 175 million Internet users in February. * Entity has assigned some portion of traffic to other syndicated entities. ** Denotes an advertising network. About comScore Media Metrix

comScore Media Metrix, a division of comScore Networks, provides industry- leading Internet audience measurement services that report 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 used by financial analysts, advertising agencies, publishers and marketers - while drawing upon comScore's advanced technologies to address important new industry requirements. comScore Media Metrix syndicated ratings are based on industry-sanctioned sampling methodologies.

About comScore Networks

comScore Networks is a global leader in measuring the digital age. This capability is based on a massive, global cross-section of more than 2 million consumers who have given comScore 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 proprietary 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 AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Verizon, Best Buy, The Newspaper Association of America, Tribune Interactive, ESPN, Fox Sports, Nestle, MBNA, Universal McCann, the United States Postal Service, Merck and Expedia. For more information, please visit http://www.comscore.com/ .

comScore Networks

CONTACT: Andrew Lipsman of comScore Networks, Inc., +1-312-775-6510,
press@comscore.com

Web site: http://www.comscore.com/

 

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