ComScore, Inc. (NASDAQ:SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released its monthly analysis of U.S. consumer activity at top online properties for February 2008 based on data from the comScore Media Metrix service. February, a month that generally exhibits lower visitation totals as a result of having fewer days, saw increased visitation to tax, greetings, politics and news sites.
“February is one of the busiest times of the year for greetings and gift sites with the celebration of Valentine’s Day,” said Jack Flanagan, executive vice president of comScore Media Metrix. “These sites are particularly convenient for the procrastinators among us who wait until the last minute to buy their loved ones a gift.”
The tax category ranked as the fastest-gaining site category with a 34-percent increase to more than 31 million visitors as Americans continued preparing their taxes in advance of the April 15 deadline. The category was led by IRS.gov with nearly 18 million visitors (up 43 percent), followed by TaxACT with 9.6 million visitors (up 66 percent) and H&R Block with 6.7 million visitors (up 26 percent).
The Valentine’s Day holiday caused both the flowers,gifts,greetings and e-card site categories to grow 17 and 14 percent, respectively. The flowers,gifts,greetings category saw substantial gains by flower sites with, ProFlowers.com (up 244 percent to 3.8 million visitors), FTD.com (up 273 percent to 3.8 million visitors), and 1-800-flowers.com (up 125 percent to 2.7 million visitors) each showing strong growth. The e-cards category was led by AmericanGreetings Property with nearly 20 million visitors, followed by Evite.com with 5.8 million visitors and Hallmark.com with 5.1 million visitors.
With much-hyped Super Tuesday (February 5) and other primaries across the country occurring in February, the politics site category continued to see growth for the second consecutive month, increasing 9 percent to 15 million visitors. BarackObama.com led the category with 3.2 million visitors, up 46 percent from January, followed by HillaryClinton.com with 1.5 million visitors (up 31 percent). Republican-party nominee John McCain’s site increased 49 percent to 888,000 visitors.
News categories, both business,finance and general news, saw increases in February with economic worries and presidential primaries dominating the national agenda. Business,finance news sites gained 6 percent to reach nearly 62 million visitors, with Yahoo! Finance, AOL Money & Finance, and MSN Money leading the category. The general news category gained 2 percent to nearly 107 million visitors led by Yahoo! News, CNN, and MSNBC.
Yahoo! Sites continued to lead as the top property with 137 million visitors, followed by Google Sites with nearly 136 million visitors and Microsoft Sites with more than 118 million visitors. Wikipedia Sites and Ask Network each moved up one position in the top 10 to spots seven and nine, respectively. Glam Media jumped 10 spots to reach position 18 with more than 29 million visitors during the month. Tax season propelled IRS.gov into the Top 50 ranking, capturing position 45.
Platform A, the ad network combining Advertising.com, Tacoda, AOL, and Quigo, led the Ad Focus ranking in February, reaching 90 percent of Americans online. Ad networks DRIVEpm and Traffic Marketplace each gained two positions, capturing positions 11 and 14, respectively, while Collective Media jumped four spots to position 19. IB Local Network entered the ranking this month at position 39, reaching 26 percent of the more than 185 million Americans online in the month.