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Experian Hitwise Awards 2010: And the Winners are…

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Experian Hitwise annual awards celebrate the most visited sites in more than 160 selected industries between January 2010 and December 2010.

Experian have calculated the top ten winners across many sectors based on the market share statistics from the search behaviour of more than 8 million internet users. The sector we’re interested in holds some interesting insights and trends, so let’s take a look at how the Computers & Internet sector faired.

Search Engines:

1.    www.google.co.uk
2.    www.bing.com
3.    uk.search.yahoo.com
4.    images.google.co.uk
5.    www.uk.ask.com
6.    search.orange.co.uk
7.    www.talktalk.co.uk/search
8.    video.uk.msn.com
9.    search.aol.co.uk
10.    books.google.co.uk

Congratulations to Google and Bing who were the first and second most visited search engines of 2010 respectively; no real surprises there, as this has been a continuing trend.

There are some interesting developments to make a note of. Firstly, Google’s images service outranked Ask and AOL’s search services, highlighting Google’s dominance, not just in overall search but also with one of its many ancillary services. Another service they offer, in the form of Google Books managed to rank as the tenth most visited UK website in 2010, further highlighting Google’s dominance.

Secondly, we can see the rise of mobile phone search engines such as Orange and TalkTalk occupying the 6th and 7th spots, surpassing AOL’s continuously flagging search engine  (I hope that wasn’t too harsh). This could be due to the dramatic rise of smart phones and mobile search, worth taking note of for any brands looking at mobile marketing.

Social Networking & Forums:

1.    www.facebook.com
2.    www.youtube.com
3.    www.myspace.com
4.    www.bebo.com
5.    uk.answers.yahoo.com
6.    video.google.co.uk
7.    forums.moneysavingexpert.com
8.    www.gumtree.com
9.    www.bbc.co.uk/dna
10.    home.live.com

The magnitude of visits that social networking websites have gained is a true testament to their popularity and suggests this internet behaviour is getting bigger and bigger [See: Facebook Overhaul Google as the Most Popular Site of 2010]

Congratulations to Facebook and Youtube who occupy the top two most visited social networking sites; again, not much of a revelation there.

A word of caution with these statistics though, sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn who rank consistently high in the Experian’s monthly market share results, are nowhere near the top 10. Whilst it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility for sites such as Myspace and Bebo to still receive large numbers of visitors, it is highly unlikely they have outranked the aforementioned social networking sites that have grown exponentially in the last year or so.

E-mail Services:

1.    uk.mail.yahoo.com
2.    www.talktalk.co.uk/mail
3.    email.orange.co.uk
4.    info.aol.co.uk/email
5.    mail.tesco.net
6.    webmail.livemail.co.uk
7.    webmail.manchester.ac.uk
8.    email.btconnect.com
9.    webmail.le.ac.uk
10.    mail.wsgfl.org.uk

Yahoo Mail continues its dominance in terms of e-mail services. It may be struggling for a stranglehold on the search front, but e-mail is where they still come up trumps, so congratulations to them.

Mobile e-mail is on the rise, a growing trend that has seen TalkTalk and Orange take the 2nd and 3rd spots, and the magnitude of University e-mail in the UK is reflected with the University of Leicester and the University of Manchester both ranking in the top ten. Tesco is another surprise addition to the top ten, as the retail Goliath looks to expand its services and is clearly making a good show of it.

Some interesting points with these figures are that Gmail or Hotmail have not even ranked in the top ten most visited e-mail services, something that is quite difficult to believe, and somewhat questions the validity and reliability of these figures – or perhaps could suggest that other factors are in play (i.e. accessing emails directly through mobile devices or apps )

Overall, there are no real surprises from these statistics, except for the above mentioned omissions. The big players still have a stranglehold on the main services and mobile search and e-mail has made huge strides in 2011 thanks to tablets and smart phones. Congratulations to all the winners!

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