Web Users Concentrate on Taxes, Travel

February 28, 2010

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Media & Entertainment | Paid Search | Retail & E-Commerce | Social Media | Technology

Internet users focused on taxes and travel in January 2010, according to data from Compete.

Tax Site Traffic Grows Exponentially
As consumers began receiving their W2s and other tax forms in the mail in January 2010, they began performing online tax research in earnest. The five fastest-growing sites on a monthly basis were all tax sites. Taxact.com, with 6.87 million unique visitors, led both monthly (996%) and yearly (42.14%) growth. Interestingly, irs.gov had the highest total visitor count of the fastest-growing tax sites on a monthly basis, 16.1 million. Yet its monthly growth rate of 146.57% was only the fifth-highest, and on a yearly basis its visitor count declined 22.53%.


Consumers Want to Travel
Consumers may need to pay taxes, but they want to travel. Although the fastest-growing category was financial services, accountancy and tax services, vacation rental sites were the fourth-fastest-growing category with 5.27 million unique visitors, a 37.63% increase. Cruise agencies were the fifth-fastest-growing category with 4.1 million unique visitors, a 31.4% increase.


Among top-moving sites, Travelocity had the best month-over-month growth of any travel site (32.2%), with 10.85 million unique visitors. Hotwire.com grew 31.45% compared to December 2009 to reach 6.04 million UVs, while TripAdvisor.com pulled in more than 11 million travelers, growing 24.4% month-over-month.

Facebook Overtakes Yahoo
Facebook overtook Yahoo as the number two site on the Web with 133.6 million unique visitors in January 2010. By contrast, Yahoo drew 132 million unique visitors, and Google held the number one slot – from which the site first dethroned Yahoo in February 2008 – with 147.8 million monthly visitors.


comScore has Similar Findings
comScore produced similar results in its analysis of site category growth in January 2010. The tax category attracted 28.8 million visitors in January 2010, growing 351% from December 2009, according to comScore.

In addition, Americans seeking to escape the winter doldrums increased their visits to a variety of online travel sub-categories last month. The travel-ground/cruise category grew 30% in January 2010 to 14 million visitors. Other top-gaining travel sub-categories included transactions, hotels/resorts, and online travel agents, each growing significantly compared to December 2009. comScore data also shows traffic to career resources sites grew 20% in January 2010, reaching an all-time high of 51.1 million visitors.

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