Google still leads the way as the most visited web property in the USA, while this year’s Super Bowl commercials drove an increase in visits to automobile sites, according to new research. The study, from comScore, looked at US web activity at the top online properties for February 2012. Valentine’s Day had Americans searching the web for flowers, jewelry and just the right e-card for their loved ones. The highly anticipated Super Bowl XLVI drove traffic to a few key advertisers’ websites, with especially strong growth seen on Auto Manufacturer sites.
“Valentine’s Day and the Super Bowl seemed to be the driving forces behind much of the online activity in February as Americans browsed romantic gifts and checked out Super Bowl advertisers’ websites, especially auto makers,” said Jeff Hackett, executive vice president of comScore. “In addition, Tax sites posted another month of gains as the filing deadline drew nearer.”
Top 50 Properties
Google Sites ranked as the #1 property in February with 186.6 million visitors, followed by Microsoft Sites with 174.4 million and Yahoo! Sites with 173.5 million. MySpace jumped 8 positions to rank #42 with 25.5 million visitors, while Yellowbook Network newly appeared on the list at #44 with 24.7 million visitors.
Top 50 Ad Focus Ranking
Google Ad Network led the February Ad Focus ranking with a reach of 92.6 percent of Americans online, followed by AOL Advertising (84 percent), Yahoo! Network Plus (83.1 percent), AT&T AdWorks (82.1 percent) and Google (81.3 percent).
Cupid Strikes Web Users
Valentine’s Day sparked millions to visit Flowers, Gifts and Greetings sites in early February, with the category rising 28 percent to 29.3 million visitors. Traffic to ProFlowers.com surged 394 percent to the #1position with 5.4 million visitors, followed by AmericanGreetingsProperty with 4.6 million (up 20 percent), Gifts.com with 3.6 million and 1-800-Flowers.com, Inc. with 2.5 million (up 103 percent).
FTD.com drew 1.9 million visitors (up 204 percent), while PartyCity.com drew 1.8 million (up 9 percent).
E-card sites helped millions send Valentine’s Day greetings to loved ones. The category spiked 13 percent in February to 21.5 million visitors. Evite.com ranked at the top of the category with 6.9 million visitors, followed by AG Interactive with 3.4 million (up 37 percent), MyFunCards.com with 2.8 million (up 42 percent), 123Greetings.com with 2.4 million (up 32 percent) and SomeEcards.com with 2.4 million (up 85 percent).
Jewelry, Luxury Goods and Accessories sites also saw a Valentine’s Day boost as the category grew 4 percent to 21.3 million visitors, led by 6PM.com with 2.9 million visitors (up 26 percent). Coach.com ranked second with 1.7 million (up 15 percent), followed by Zale Corporation with 1.6 million (up 10 percent), Kay Jewelers with 1.2 million (up 50 percent) and BradfordExchange.com with 1.1 million (up 5 percent).
Auto Maker Sites Score during Super Bowl
Auto Manufacturer ads during the Super Bowl generated plenty of buzz and resulted in considerable gains for the category. More than 27 million people visited an Auto Manufacturer site, representing a gain of 17 percent versus January. Toyota led the pack with 6.4 million visitors (up 20 percent), followed by Honda with 5.1 million (up 42 percent), General Motors with 4.8 million (up 6 percent), Ford Motor Company with 4.2 million and Hyundai Kia Automotive Group with 3 million (up 51 percent). Chrysler, which had perhaps the most talked-about Super Bowl with Clint Eastwood’s “Halftime in America,” posted a 17- percent increase to rank sixth in the category with 2.7 million visitors.
Tax Sites Continue to Swell
Traffic to Tax sites continued to climb in February as more Americans prepared to file. More than 45 million visited the category, up 48 percent from January to rank as the fastest growing category for the third straight month.