Online Health Category Grows 12%; WebMD Leads 1Q Traffic

The online health information category reached an average of 55.3 million monthly U.S. visitors in the first quarter of 2007, which represents a 12% year-over-year increase for the period, comScore reported yesterday.

Health-related search continues to be a key traffic driver. "Pregnancy" was the top health-related search phrase for the first quarter, with more than 17 million entries. "Cancer," "flu" and "fitness" each generated at least 15 million searches.

Category leader remains WebMD Health with an average of 17.1 million unique visitors per month (up 25% over 2006), followed by NIH.gov (the National Institutes of Health) with 9.8 million visitors (up 8%). Yahoo Health enjoyed an 83% increase in visitors with 6.7 million.

Category newcomers Healthline.com and QualityHealth.com cracked the top 10 list with growth rates of 269% and 114% respectively.

Steve Case's RevolutionHealth.com has seen its traffic more than double from 239,000 visitors in January to 486,000 visitors in March, comScore reported.

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"While the larger and more established health portals are continuing to grow, the category is being shaken up by a few upstarts," said Carolina Petrini, vice president of pharmaceutical solutions at comScore. "In the past year, Healthline.com and QualityHealth.com have more than doubled their respective online audiences to nearly 3 million visitors per month."

Top 10 Online Health Portals

Q1 2007 vs. Q1 2006

Total U.S. - Home/Work/University Locations

Source: comScore Media Metrix

Property

Average Monthly Unique Visitors (000)

Q1 2006

Q1 2007

Percent Change

Total U.S. Internet Population

169,728

176,195

4%

Health - Information

49,473

55,260

12%

WebMD Health

13,700

17,114

25%

NIH.gov

9,061

9,816

8%

MSN Health

7,951

8,068

1%

Yahoo Health

3,642

6,671

83%

Everyday Health

4,135

6,421

55%

About.com Health

5,177

5,827

13%

MayoClinic.com

4,032

4,072

1%

AOL Health

2,070

3,659

77%

Healthline.com

725

2,674

269%

QualityHealth.com

1,206

2,586

114%

Searches Conducted Using Major U.S. Search Engines

Number of Searches Q1 2007

Total U.S. - Home/Work/University Locations

Source: comScore

Keyword or Phrase

Searches (MM)

Pregnancy

17.5

Cancer

15.3

Flu

15.3

Fitness

15.0

Cold

13.8

Rash

12.6

Nutrition

7.4

Weight Loss

7.2

Diabetes

4.9

Depression

4.9

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