December 30, 2011

Social Media Sites Top 2011 Most Visited

Google and Facebook were at the top of the list for the most visited websites in the U.S. in 2011, according to figures from ratings powerhouse Nielsen Media Research.

Google took the top spot with 153,441,00 unique visitors per month, but Facebook was not far behind with 137,644,000 unique visitors per month. Yahoo came in third with about 130 million visitors.

But Yahoo is in a position to lose out even more if young people continue the trend to turn away from web-based mail, where the search engine gets a large portion of its user-base.

Research by Comscore suggests U.S.-based 12- to 17-year-olds spent 30 percent less time using web-based email between November 2010 and the same month this year. Usage among those aged 18 to 24 fell by 21 percent, and was down by 1 percent in the 25 to 34 age bracket. Usage was up among older age groups.

“Yahoo´s basic problem is that people are no longer looking for an all-you-can-eat service and instead want best-in-breed,” said Ian Maude from Enders Analysis. “Email is a front door to Yahoo and if people are no longer using their service it will affect them more broadly. If Comscore´s data is an early indicator of a growing trend they have a major problem.”

For the Nielsen survey, figures come from data collected between January and October, 2011 and includes visits from home and work computers. It involved a sample from a global panel of 2000,000 people.

Although Google was tops in most unique visitors, its social network service, Google+, didn´t fare nearly as well. Facebook of course commanded the top spot in the social network list with more than 137 million visits. Blogger and Twitter, the runners up, each only saw 45 million and 23 million visitors per month, respectively. Google+ could only muster an 8th place ranking with 8 million visitors per month. But to give Google+ some credit, it has only been in the game a short time compared to LinkedIn and MySpace, each of which had only 17-18 million visitors.

Google did fair better in the online video category, taking the top honors for its YouTube service with 111 million unique visitors per month. That number was more than three times runner up VEVO´s take of 35 million.

Nielsen´s list focuses exclusively on the top site sin the U.S. The results are not all that surprising. Seeing Google at the top of the pile was expected, and Facebook´s second place finish is no real surprise either. And while these results are specific to American traffic, they are also representative of the world.

After that though, the results between America and the global totals begin to differ slightly, especially when you add in the traffic coming from China.

See results of the entire survey at http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/nielsens-tops-of-2011-digital.


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