Top Web sites with the highest number of unique visitors for the month of September.
One way Web sites can measure success is by how many unique hits they attract. Yahoo, Microsoft and MSN each received more than 80 million unique visitors in September, according to Nielsen/NetRatings, which defines “unique” as the “total number of unique persons that have visited a Web site or used an application at least once in the specified reporting period.” Visitors spent an average of more than two hours each on the AOL, Yahoo and eBay sites. Doing what? E-mailing and shopping. At AOL, two of the top three channels were AOL e-mail and AOL Instant Messenger; eBay’s most visited channels were eBay Collectibles, eBay Stores and eBay Motors, and the Weather Channel’s Weather.com snuck into the top 10, most likely a result of the hurricanes and tropical storms that have hit the U.S. And, in the ongoing Yahoo vs. Google battle, this is one ranking Yahoo dominates.
Number of unique visitors in September: 99,267,000
Average time spent on site: 3 hours, 37 minutes, 34 seconds
Third-quarter revenues ended Sept. 30 for Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo hit a record $1.3 billion, a 47 percent increase from the same period a year ago. Yahoo.com’s vast channels provide services for, well, pretty much everything all the nine other rankings offer, all at one, easy-to-navigate Web site. Visitors can search for news, buy computers and apparel, send and receive e-mail, get directions, check the weather — and create custom searches, as well.
Unique visitors: 91,035,000
Time spent: 0:44:27
Visitors — namely, computer geeks — can go to the world’s largest software manufacturer’s Web site for scads of reasons: to download software such as AntiSpyware, Windows Media Player and Microsoft Office programs, to find out the latest games from Xbox or simply to learn more about the
$40 billion company, and the products it sells. On Tuesday, Microsoft unveiled Web-based versions of its flagship Windows and Office products. Chairman Bill Gates titled the new plan “Software Live,” to make software a service, linking all digital media, applications and devices.
Unique visitors: 89,405,000
Time spent: 1:50:13
Msn.com, owned by Microsoft, is a search engine featuring up-to-date news, sports, gossip and its own version of e-mail called Hotmail. Other popular channels for visitors include shopping (for everything from airline tickets to clothing), living and finances and entertainment, with spotlights on travel. One other section, “Look It Up,” allows visitors to find directions, local restaurants and other information.
Unique visitors: 79,425,000
Time spent: 0:47:14
Google’s top three searches for the week ended Oct. 24 were: “Hurricane Wilma,” “Madonna” and “National Hurricane Center.” Even in the midst of national disasters, the public can’t get enough of Mrs. Guy Ritchie. Silicon Valley-based Google launched its version of e-mail, called “gmail,” in 2004, the same year the company went public. Google reported record revenues of $1.6 billion for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, up 96 percent from the third quarter of 2004. Since January, Google’s stock price has risen 97 percent, from $192.79 to $379.38.
Unique visitors: 72,540,000
Time spent: 6:12:50
Operating as part of the Time Warner empire, AOL.com provides its 20 million subscribers with e-mail, instant messenger access and local, national and international news. America Online Inc. co-founder Steve Case resigned as a director of Time Warner Inc. on Monday, amid rumors that a piece of AOL’s pie is up for sale. Just last month, the company shed 700 employees from its workforce. Though AOL is losing subscribers at a fast clip, it remains a profitable Time Warner unit. Microsoft, Yahoo and Google have been rumored to be vying for a minority share in AOL.
Unique visitors: 52,932,000
Time spent: 2:02:37
EBay chief executive officer Meg Whitman, just named Fortune Magazine’s most powerful woman in the U.S., is having a tremendous year. Not only is her beloved auction site expected to post fiscal 2005 revenues of $4.5 billion, but eBay has acquired several businesses this year — the latest is Luxembourg-based Skype Technologies SA, an Internet communications company, which was bought for $2.6 billion. Confirmed registered users totaled 168.1 million at the end of the third quarter this year. In 2001, eBay’s priciest item was sold — a Gulfstream II jet, which went for $4.9 million.
Unique visitors: 38,635,000
Time spent: 0:13:36
As one of the leading directory and map services online, MapQuest has begun extending its brand. The company, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of America Online Inc., announced in June the launch of its MapQuest Publishing product line, a new family of printed travel publications that will include road atlases, specialty guides and laminated maps.
Unique visitors: 36,838,000
Time spent: 0:45:28
Real.com is the home of RealNetworks Inc., which provides digital media content and online services worldwide. Games, movies and music are some of the most sought-after items online today. Real.com allows users to download music tracks from the RealPlayer Music Store. Chairman and ceo Rob Glaser said of the company’s results for the third quarter ended Sept. 30: “We continue to make great progress with strong year-over-year revenue growth, increased profitability and a base of more than 2.2 million paid subscribers, including 1.3 million paid music subscribers.” Music revenue alone grew 39 percent to $25 million for the third quarter.
Unique visitors: 35,483,000
Time spent: 0:22:12
Amazon.com Inc. operates Web sites that sell various products and services to its consumers. A few of the site’s primary shopping channels are apparel, shoes, accessories, personal care products, books and consumer electronics. Amazon.com strategically launched its apparel and accessories store at the beginning of the holiday shopping season in 2002. Earlier this year, Amazon Services announced an agreement with Diane von Furstenberg’s DVF Studio Web site — the designer had wanted to better incorporate shopping on her site and maintain an online magazine.
Unique visitors: 31,516,000
Time spent: 0:32:56
The Weather Channel’s Weather.com was the site with all the answers during this record-breaking hurricane season. So far in 2005, a whopping 23 named storms have churned through the Atlantic Basin. The most devastating, by far, was Hurricane Katrina, which hit the U.S.’s Gulf Coast at the end of August. Katrina devastated New Orleans and coastal areas. Hurricanes Rita (which reached land in September) and Wilma also took aim at America’s southern states. Wilma was the eighth hurricane to hit Florida in 15 months.
Source: Nielsen/Net Ratings, September 2005; Unique visitors are from U.S. only