Home January was a Great Month for Tax and Travel Sites

January was a Great Month for Tax and Travel Sites

We already knew that Facebook had usurped Yahoo’s spot as the Web’s second-most visited website in the U.S. in January, but today, Web analytics firm Compete also released its data for the rest of the top 50 sites in in the U.S. Unsurprisingly, most shopping sites registered a large drop in unique visitors since December, while tax services are seeing some of the highest month-to-month growth rates.

Shopping Sites Down

Shopping sites like Walmart.com, Target and BestBuy both saw a substantial monthly decline of around 35% compared to December. Amazon, however, only lost 5%, which suggests that the world’s most popular online shopping destination relies less on seasonal traffic than most of its competitors.

Top 10 Sites in the U.S. by Unique Visitors

  1. Google.com – 147.8 million
  2. Facebook.com – 133.6 million
  3. Yahoo.com – 132 million
  4. Youtube.com – 97.7 million
  5. MSN.com – 94.5 million
  6. Amazon.com – 81.5 million
  7. Live.com – 79.3 million
  8. eBay.com – 72 million
  9. Wikipedia.org – 67.8 million
  10. Microsoft.com – 58.8 million

Tax and Travel Up

With the tax season in the U.S. in full swing, it doesn’t come as a surprise that services like HRBlock.com, Intuit.com and Taxactonline.com saw solid growth since December. In total, Compete notes that sites in its “Financial Services: Accountancy and Tax Service” category were up 292% compared to December 2009. Maybe even more importantly, these numbers are also up 11.5% compared to January 2009, which is a strong indicator that more and more people now prepare and file their taxes online. Last week, we talked to representatives from Intuit’s Turbotax division, who also noted that the company’s online services now post some of Intuit’s largest growth rates.

As travelers start to plan their 2010 vacations, sites like HotWire.com (up 32% month-over-month) and TripAdvisor.com (up 24%) also posted solid gains.

Other Notable Numbers: New York Times, CNet, Twitter and Bing

Among news sites in Competes top 50, the New York Times (#50) booked a solid 10% gain since December, while CNN (#32) saw a 1.6% gain. The number of unique visitors to CNet, however, dropped by almost 13% compared to December, and is down 24% year-over-year.

Twitter, which registered a solid 294% year-over-year growth, only saw a 3.35% growth since December.

Bing, Microsoft’s new search engine, is now the eleventh most-visited site. It’s worth noting that the combination of Live.com and Bing.com attracted around 133 million unique visitors in January 2010, which is on par with Facebook’s and Yahoo’s numbers.

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