Search Engines, Portals and Communities are Most Popular Worldwide
The report found that well over three quarters of the world's active Internet audience visited search engines, portals and community sites last month.
"Search engines, portals and communities have firmly established themselves as the primary starting point on the Web for surfers around the world," said Richard Goosey, chief of measurement science and analysis, Nielsen//NetRatings. "In 13 of the markets we measure, active reach in this category was more than 90% in March, including some of the largest and most sophisticated markets in the world, such as the US, Canada, Japan and Germany.
"While search engines, portals and communities attracted the most visitors within 25 markets, the category was the stickiest in only three countries: South Korea, Israel and Singapore," Goosey added. "By contrast, finance, insurance and investment sites comprised the stickiest category in 13 markets, while the remainder of the countries exhibited their individuality by logging the most time in such categories as entertainment, family and lifestyle, home and fashion and education and career."
New Zealand was the only country where multicategory commerce was the stickiest category in March, echoing another recent Nielsen//NetRatings study, which found that 30% of the adults in New Zealand had browsed online for products and services over the past six months, compared to a regional average of 22% of adults across Asia Pacific.
"The Web properties at the top of our March index [Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Microsoft and Lycos] underscore the worldwide popularity of search engines, portals and communities," Goosey said. "Five of the top 10 global properties contain popular search engine, portal or community domains, which make a significant contribution to the property's overall global audience."
March saw healthy increases in the global number of sessions per month, which were up nearly 10% over February, as well as the number of unique domains visited and the page views per month. The monthly time spent online rose nearly 7% to a global average of more than 10 hours - higher than any month in 2001 and second only to January 2002, when the average monthly time spent topped 12 hours.