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Compete Ranks Top 50 Web Sites for December 2009

Travelers Flock to the Web for Travel Information after Heavy Winter Storm

BOSTON – (January 18, 2010) /PRNewswire/ — Compete, a Kantar Media company, today released its ranking of the top 50 Web sites for December 2009. During the final month of the year, winter weather blasted the country and drove holiday travelers into an online tailspin. In fact, six of the top 20 highest growth Web site categories in December were travel and weather related. The airport travel category, which includes sites like PHL.org and BWIairport.com, attracted 40 percent more unique visitors (UVs) in December (2.11 million UVs) than the previous month. News sites related to weather and traffic also experienced tremendous growth, increasing visitors by 34.8 percent over November to reach 52.58 million UVs in aggregate.

Winter Weather Hits the Web

December’s harsh winter storm kept many holiday travelers at home, and sent even more U.S. residents online in search of weather forecasts for cities around the country. While government-sponsored sites weather.gov (5.68 million UVs) and noaa.gov (5.58 million UVs) both made the list of fastest growing Web sites month-over-month, weather.com still has a clear hold on the online weather market. The popular forecast site attracted 33.6 million UVs in December, a 46.7 percent increase month-over-month and a 22.1 percent growth over 2008. Wunderground.com also continued steady growth, reaching 6.98 million UVs in December, which represents a 19.38 percent year-over-year uptick in traffic.

Over the River and Through the Web

Shipping services UPS, FedEx and the United States Postal Service took the delivery race online in December as consumers logged on to track shipped packages and investigate shipping rates. UPS.com led the online shipping sites with 25.05 million UVs, a 51.9 percent increase month-over-month and 17.08 percent year-over-year growth. By contrast, 23.4 million shippers visited USPS.com in December, while 15.51 million UVs clicked on FedEx.com. All three shipping giants experienced traffic increases over 2008 counts.

Top 50 Shakeup

While the top 50 Web sites in December once again remained largely unchanged, there were two notable moves among the elite group. In part due to an extensive holiday ad campaign, eBay.com moved up the ranks to assume the number five spot on the most popular site list. With 88.59 million UVs in December 2009, the site that was formerly ranked number eight edged out Amazon.com (85.94 million UVs) by growing 19.6 percent month-over-month.

It also appears that job seekers took a break for the holidays, sending 9.14 percent less traffic to Monster.com than the previous month. In November 2009, Monster.com drew 44.1 million UVs as the 18th most popular site on the web; in December, the site dropped to the 21st most popular slot with 40.07 million UVs.

Information regarding aggregate Web categories is drawn from the Compete PRO Enterprise edition on Compete.com. For more information on the enterprise offering, please contact aprebluda@compete.com.

About Compete

Compete, a Kantar Media company, helps the world’s top brands improve their marketing based on the online behavior of millions of consumers. Leading marketers such as Carlson Hotels Worldwide, Hyundai Motor America, Upromise, Chrysler, and Verizon Wireless rely on Compete's services to create effective online experiences and highly profitable advertising campaigns. Compete’s online behavior database—the largest in the industry—makes the Web as ingrained in marketing as it is in people’s lives. Compete was founded in 2000 and is located in Boston, MA, with offices throughout the U.S. For more information about us, please visit http://www.competeinc.com/, or to join the conversation visit http://www.compete.com/.

About Kantar

Kantar is one of the world's largest insight, information and consultancy networks. By uniting the diverse talents of its 13 specialist companies, the group aims to become the pre-eminent provider of compelling and inspirational insights for the global business community. Its 26,500 employees work across 95 countries and across the whole spectrum of research and consultancy disciplines, enabling the group to offer clients business insights at each and every point of the consumer cycle. The group’s services are employed by over half of the Fortune Top 500 companies.
For further information, please visit us at www.kantar.com