Internet User Involvement Trends

Traffic for a website is driven by number of users, and visits/user. In addition to user visits, time spent in the website or in an internet activity is a key metric to understand trends among web consumers. Visits/user and time spent by a user collectively define user involvement. Here are the some trends in users and user involvement in various internet activities – search, portal and social networking.

  • Nearly 90% of all US Internet users visit a search engine in a month. An average user makes close to 24 visits in the month and spends average 2 minutes each time a user visits a search engine. (Source: Comscore January 2009)
  • Number of Internet users who have a search engine for their home page has grown significantly. 21% of Internet users said that their home page is a search page such as Google — more than double the response in 2005. On the other hand, % of users, who set an Internet portal (Yahoo, America Online, or MSN) as their home page, is continuously declining. (Source: Daily Internet Activities (May 08, US, Pew/Internet)
  • Apart from decline in portals as homepages, overall pageviews for portal websites usage is declining. Though the usage is declining, portals still get almost twice as many visits as a search engine gets. Not all portals are performing poorly. Yahoo’s portal usage and pageviews are growing while others are declining. Yahoo has consistently shown growth through building a very strong user community that uses multiple Yahoo Services. 
  • % of users who participate in social networking and consume blogs grown to 65M which is close to 1/3 of total internet users. In terms of user involvement, an average user visits 20 times a month to a social networking website and spends close to 14 minutes per visit in social networking. Social network’s share of user time has grown to catch with time spent by a user on email and has surpassed the time spent by a user on a portal. This is why Facebook is getting crazy valuations. (Source: Comscore January 2009)

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