Home improvement and taxes were the US site categories with the highest-percentage change in unique visitors during April 2010, according to comScore Media Metrix findings.
Americans Spring into Home Improvement
With spring arriving and the first-time homebuyers tax credit about to expire at the end of April, Americans looked to home sites for home furnishing, decorating and gardening tips, MarketingCharts reports. The category grew 10% during April 2010, to 48 million visitors.
eHow Home and Garden (up 4%), iVillage Home and Garden (up 24 %), and About.com Home and Garden (up 11%) were among the top properties in the category. The Home Depot, Inc., a retail site in the home furnishings subcategory, ranked as a top-gaining property during the month, growing 12% to 12.6 million visitors.
Close of Tax Season Produces Finance Visitors
The business/finances-taxes category also experienced 10% unique visitor growth in April 2010, reaching 20.9 million visitors. The April 15 deadline for paying 2009 federal, state and local income taxes undoubtedly drove this category growth.
Total Audience Remains Flat
Although the total monthly US unique internet audience increased from 212.6 million to 213 million users between March and April 2010, comScore recorded flat unique audience growth for the month.
Beauty, Photos also Grow
Following the home and tax categories, the beauty/fashion/style category saw an 8% increase in April, as 47.5 million Americans browsed spring fashion trends and beauty tips.Among the top properties were Glam Style, Stylelist Sites (up 7%), and Hearst Beauty & Fashion Network (up 37%). Allure.com was one of the category’s big winners, as visitation surged 214% to 717,000 visitors during the month.
It is also worth noting that as proms, religious holidays, and other spring occasions took place, Americans turned to the web for posting photos to share with family and friends. More than half of all US internet users visited a photo sharing site during April 2010, representing an increase of 3% to 112.7 million visitors.
Among the most-visited photo sites were Facebook.com Photos (up 8%), Photobucket.com, LLC, and Flickr (up 4% each). ImageShack saw a sizeable increase in April, growing 59% to 2.3 million visitors.
Sports Sites See Surge
The arrival of spring means the arrival of the baseball season and hockey playoffs. MLB.com had the biggest monthly percentage increase in unique visitors, 67%, receiving about 13.6 million unique visitors and earning 102nd place in overall unique visitors. NHL Network had the second-highest percentage increase in unique visitors, 35%, with about 6.1 million unique visitors, good for 232nd place.
Buzzle.com, a specialized search engine that offers information drawn from author-submitted content, had the third-highest percentage increase in unique visitors for the month (19%), with about 5.7 million unique visitors and a ranking of 244th place.
Univision Leads Hispanic Sites
April 2010 marked the introduction of the new Hispanic Focus category in Media Metrix, which measures the entire US audience at sites and other ad-supporting entities oriented towards the US Hispanic audience. Univision.com ranked as the top publisher site in the category with 4.6 million visitors, followed by Terra-Telefonica with 3.4 million, MSN Latino with 2.6 million, and Batanga with 2.4 million.
Auto, Political Sites Gain Visitors in Mar '10
Auto manufacturer and political information sites were the top-growing US online site categories during March 2010, according to previous comScore Media Metrix data. Auto manufacturers ranked as the top-gaining US site category in March 2010, growing 23% from about 20.5 million to 30.3 million visitors, as potential buyers researched vehicle options online.
Meanwhile, the US audience for political sites grew 18% in March 2010, from 17.4 million to 20.5 million visitors as Americans sought the latest news and analysis on the political landscape, including the hotly debated healthcare reform bill.