Tax, Travel Sites Lead Category Growth

February 23, 2010

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Financial Services | Retail & E-Commerce | Technology | Travel & Hospitality

Tax, travel and career resource sites were the top-growing online site categories during January 2010, according to comScore Media Metrix.

One of Two Sure Things in Life

Taxes, traditionally linked to death as one of two sure things in life, were on the minds of US web users last month. The tax category attracted 28.8 million visitors in January 2010, growing 351% from December 2009.

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Winter Prompts Travel Plans
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. VacationsToGo.com sites ranked #1 in the category with 2.5 million visitors during the month, up 62% from December 2009. Amtrak.com saw more than 2.3 million visitors, up 13%, followed by Carnival Cruise Lines with 2.2 million visitors, up 79%, and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. with 1.5 million visitors, up 54%.

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Other top-gaining travel sub-categories included transactions, hotels/resorts, and online travel agents, each growing significantly compared to December 2009. The travel- transactions category (4.1 million visitors) and hotels/resorts category (34.1 million visitors) each grew 23% from December 2009, while online travel agent sites grew 19% to 42.5 million visitors.

Americans Want Jobs
Traffic to career resources sites jumped in January 2010 as the start of the New Year and continued challenges in the job market prompted many Americans to seek employment opportunities and career advice. The category grew 20% during the month, reaching an all-time high of 51.1 million visitors. Monster Worldwide led the career resources category with 19.3 million visitors (up 17%), followed by Yahoo HotJobs with 19 million (up 72%) and Career Builder LLC with 18.3 million (up 10%).

Retailers Benefit from December Holiday Traffic
Americans flocked to retail and shipping sites during the end-of-year shopping frenzy, while holiday festivities also caused a surge in traffic to flowers/gifts/greetings and e-card sites, according to the monthly analysis of US web activity at the top-growing properties and site categories for December 2009 from comScore.

Retail sites continued to climb in December as Americans scoured the web for deals. Among the top-gaining retail sub-categories were jewelry/luxury goods/accessories, sports/outdoor, and flowers/gifts/greetings sites, each growing more than 20% compared to November 2009.
However, tax sites also ranked as the top-gaining category during the month with nearly 6.4 million visitors, up 54% from November 2009, as Americans began early preparation for tax season.

Traffic to shipping sites spiked in December and reached an all-time 2009 visitation high as Americans rushed to ensure delivery of their gift purchases in time for the holidays. The category attracted 36.6 million visitors during the month, representing a 33% increase in traffic.

e-Card sites were a popular way to send holiday cheer in December 2009, with the category growing 29 percent to 31.7 million visitors.

About the Survey: comScore Media Metrix syndicated ratings are based on industry-sanctioned sampling methodologies. comScore will be excluding the Top 50 properties and the Top 50 ad-focus rankings until May 2010, when the hybrid transition period concludes.

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