October 21st, 2010 | Published in Google DoubleClick
The September edition of the Ad Planner 1000 offers a few obvious trends as students across the northern hemisphere have returned to school and are putting their thinking caps on.
As the school year gets into full swing, homework and school projects abound and usage of reference sites increases correspondingly. September was a good month for reference.com which was up more than 23%, thesaurus.com followed closely with its 21% increase in the number of unique visitors, wiktionary.org went up almost 18%, merrian-webster.com more than 17% and thefreedictionary.com enjoyed more than a 16% increase in site visitors for the month of September.
The return to school did not seem to bode well for online gaming and entertainment sites as we observed a decline in site traffic with many of these sites. Perhaps much of play time has gone from the online realm to the offline world of the playground.
Battle.net was the most embattled as it saw a huge drop in site visitors (-38%), while 4399.com was not far behind with a steep 35% decline, duowan.com dropped 24%, pcgames.com (-24%), addictinggames.com (-18%), sdo.com was down 17% and nick.com and zylom.com saw 16% fewer visitors to their sites in September. To a lesser extent, miniclip.com (-13%), armorgames.com (-9%) and juegos.com (-8%) also saw drops in visitors to their site during this month.
“Did you catch that season premiere last night?” is likely a common refrain heard around water coolers everywhere. Thanks to the new television season, network sites re-entered the Ad Planner 1000: nbc.com at #679, cbs.com at #712 and abc.go.com at #748. Tvguide.com also benefited with enough of an increase to site visitors to crack the list at #820.
Sports trends have usually shown their mark on the Ad Planner 1000 from month to month and September is no different. In the U.S., football fervor is underway and the biggest beneficiary is nfl.com with a whopping 61% increase in unique vistors to their site. Espn.com fared well (+26%), as did cbssports.com which debuted in the Ad Planner 1000 this month at #672. On the other hand, as playoff contenders emerge in the baseball post-season, the narrowing field of teams to follow seems to have affected mlb.com which saw site traffic go down 16%.
In other trend news, social networking sites Facebook.com remains atop the Ad Planner 1000 this month with a healthy rise in the number of unique visitors of 11%. Twitter fared well too with 12% more visitors in the month of September.
Expect to see more of these interesting observations with your favorite sites when we publish the next update to the Ad Planner 1000 in a couple of weeks.