Internet Users Are Spending More Time Than Ever on the Top 10 Sites

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DM CONFIDENTIAL – The top 10 websites are capturing more and more of a user’s time spent online, according to Compete. Facebook is leading the way by a rather large margin. In short, the long tail isn’t growing — it’s shrinking, at least when it comes to time spent.

Compete first looks at the top 10 domains as a percentage of all internet page views in November 2001, November 2006 and September 2011. In 2001, the top 10 domains captured 31 percent of page views. This number rose to 40 percent in 2006. In 2011, this number dipped to 34 percent. “Since 2006, the total number of Internet domains has increased by 11% and stretched out the power of the long tail in the lens of page view analysis,” according to Compete.

According to Compete, Yahoo.com was the top domain in 2001 with 11 percent of all Internet page views. It was followed by MSN.com with 9 percent, eBay.com with 4 percent and Passport.com with 2 percent.

In 2006, MySpace.com led the way with 16 percent of all page views, followed by Yahoo.com with 8 percent, eBay.com with 4 percent, MSN.com with 3 percent, AOL.com with 3 percent and Google.com with 3 percent.

In 2011, Facebook.com leads the way with 11 percent of page views, followed by Craigslist.com with 5 percent, Google.com with 5 percent, Yahoo.com with 4 percent, YouTube.com with 4 percent, and eBay.com with 2 percent. Compete also looked at internet usage on the top 10 domains in terms of attention. This perspective painted a different story: In 2001, the top 10 domains accounted for 30 percent of total time online. This rose to 35 percent in 2006, and rose again to 36 percent in 2011.

In 2001, Yahoo.com and MSN.com each lead with 11 percent each, followed by eBay.com with 3 percent. In 2006, MySpace.com led the way with 12 percent of time online, followed by Yahoo.com with 9 percent, eBay.com with 4 percent, MSN.com with 4 percent, Google.com with 2 percent and AOL.com with 2 percent. In 2011, Facebook.com leads the way with 15 percent, followed by YouTube.com with 6 percent, Yahoo.com with 4 percent, Google.com with 4 percent and Craigslist.com with 2 percent.

“Although the change isn’t as rapid as the growth from 2001 to 2006, we are seeing evidence to disprove the long tail theory with regard to engagement, which we think might currently be a more accurate portrayal of today’s internet population in the context of the long tail theory over page views,” Jen Duguay of Compete writes.

Separate numbers from Nielsen show that in September, Facebook attracted 155.1 million users in the U.S., with a time-per-person rate of 07:42:26 (hh:mm:ss). The average person spent 28:20:24 online in September, according to Nielsen.

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