As per Cybercom‘s ComScore data: Numbers are in 1000s, for the stickiest websites(ones people spend most time on), see here:
Rank | Site Name | Unique Visitors |Average Daily Visitors (000)
1 GOOGLE.IE 894 288
2 MSN.COM 752 164
3 BEBO.COM 650 211
4 GOOGLE.COM 565 104
5 YAHOO.COM 521 112
6 HOTMAIL.COM 424 89
7 MSN.IE 396 99
8 RYANAIR.COM 366 25
9 YAHOO.CO.UK 359 67
10 MICROSOFT.COM 353 21
11 BOOKRYANAIR.COM 323 21
12 YOUTUBE.COM 322 48
13 EIRCOM.NET 319 87
14 EBAY.IE 278 26
15 WIKIPEDIA.ORG 276 26
16 AERLINGUS.COM 267 21
17 RTE.IE 232 22
18 AIB.IE 225 37
19 EBAY.COM 185 11
20 BLOGGER.COM 175 11
21 O2ONLINE.IE 175 23
22 BBC.CO.UK 174 18
23 888.COM 173 13
24 DAFT.IE 173 16
25 GOOGLE.CO.UK 166 26
26 EBAY.CO.UK 166 13
27 CARZONE.IE 165 17
28 METEOR.IE 157 13
29 MSN.CO.UK 155 28
30 AMAZON.COM 155 9
31 APPLE.COM 153 9
32 ABOUT.COM 151 7
33 VODAFONE.IE 147 19
34 MYMETEOR.IE 145 14
35 MYSPACE.COM 145 13
36 FALCONHOLIDAYS.IE 143 7
37 TRIPADVISOR.COM 131 8
38 BUDGETTRAVEL.IE 130 9
39 ADOBE.COM 128 5
40 AOL.COM 120 8
41 IOL.IE 120 10
42 IMDB.COM 118 9
43 365ONLINE.COM 116 20
44 AMAZON.CO.UK 113 9
45 ROCKYOU.COM 104 6
46 FALCONHOLIDAYS.CO.UK 102 5
47 GEOCITIES.COM 101 5
48 TICKETMASTER.IE 98 7
49 EIRCOM.IE 97 6
50 FAS.IE 96 9
55 GUMTREE.IE 96 5
56 MYHOME.IE 96 7
57 BOARDS.IE 95 6
58 YAHOO.IE 90 14
59 AUTOTRADER.IE 87 6
60 GOLDENPAGES.IE 84 5
Facebook’s no-show is a bit unusual in these data.
The data clearly needs a bit of work to make it more accurate- for example, ryanair.com and bookryanair.com redirect to the same site, and the various google, ebay and amazon sites surely should be ranked as one item?
Also, it seems a bit strange that sites such as Ireland.com, the Indo and Irish examiner are absent…I wonder how reliable these figures really are…after all has anyone even heard of rockyou.com and do you really think that adobe’s site is going to be more popular than the Irish Times site, the guardian’s or facebook’s?
I’d like to see an explanation of the methodology, a list of the sites and data used for these figures. Without those, this is just marketing hype and the absence of ireland.com, the Indo and regional newspapers makes it rather iffy.
[…] just posted ComScore’s Top 60 most viewed sites in Ireland for July 2007. I noticed that the previous data, Websites that Irish people spend most time on, missing at least […]
[…] Web Stats Damien Mulley has a couple of posts about the Cybercom stats: Damien Mulley » Blog Archive » Top 60 most viewed sites in Ireland for July 2007 Damien Mulley » Blog Archive » Websites that Irish people spend most time on __________________ […]
Interesting with all the Facebook activitiy in the techsphere that Bebo is No.3, MySpace further down and not a mention of FB.
Facebook is tiny here. About 66,000 users and they are very new. Start of the year there were maybe 6000. Very early days but Facebook does show further down the table.
@JMCC: Re:Indo and Ireland.com think they are around the 70ish mark. ComScore uses a panel of 2000 people in Ireland to calculate usage. Let me dig out the methodology.
@John RockYou is the number one application on Bebo so it would make sense to see that many accesses since Bebo is so strong. That’s my take anyway.
Comscore are using either a dodgy Irish sample or else their sample base to too small or too biased.
If you check ABC stats, Daft.ie gets 760k uniques a month (not 173k) and RTE.ie gets 1.5m uniques a month (not 232k).
We have a history in Ireland of publishing unreliable stats on Websites (remember JNIR). I think is time to drop these sample-based measurement techniques until they at least show some kind of correspondance to the log based methods used by Google analytics or ABC
Yeah, that list looks odd but it’s not the only one. Cybercom list of clients is a confused mix as well. I like the way Coke is an Irish company and Dublin Bus is an international one 😉
2000? That explains a lot. The data is useful, but I think it’s a bit misleading to be making wide ranging claims like “Ireland’s Most Visited Websites” on the basis of that set.
It’s like with email filtering. A particular company loves to make sweeping statements about Irish email usage ….
Damien, A panel of only 2000 is an extremely iffy way of generating website visitor stats. Perhaps these guys should try to get a better understanding of the Irish market and the nature of web visit statistics before making such broad claims.
The only real way of producing anything approaching accurate website visitor statistics is to use the webserver logs as the dataset. Even that is a very complex process (not all Irish ISPs have reverse DNS on their IP ranges) and perhaps is technically beyond such companies even if every Irish website produced their logs or a trustworthy report for them. Measuring time on site can be even more difficult because of the way that people can switch from browser tab to browser tab on their computers – thus the only thing that the stickiness report would truly measure is how long a particular browser was open on a website – but not whether there was any activity on that browser.
boards.ie’s stats for July 2007 (Google Analytics) were:
684,840 Absolute Unique Visitors
32,010 Visitors / Day
00:14:51 Time on Site
Reach is not given
Even if you take 66% of our stats, which is the percentage number that came from Ireland that month, we should still be well up that list…
Interesting to see papers/mags don’t feature at all. Both the Times and the Indo have been playing catch-up on their web presence for years and the Trib resisted it for as long as Matt Cooper could manage (by his own admission).
With only 2 news resources listed (RTE and BBC) it begs the question why local news for local people isn’t on the radar.
And yes this is a self-serving comment.
@Niall: Local news sources, the regional papers tend to update once a week. The main readers of these newspapers would be exiles in Dublin or elsewhere. These people would probably not be in this small panel of 2000 users that Cybercom used because they may be transient users (using internet cafe connections or mobile internet connections) rather than users on fixed line connections.
These figures seem far from representative of Irish internet user habits. I’d almost forgotten that PC Live was still publishing and there are probably other magazine websites that are not in that list. 🙂 There are so many websites missing from that list that it is highly untrustworthy of it being anything other than a potted survey of the habits of a panel of 2000 people.
@jmcc Jesus, do you sleep at all? The last comment you left was 5am.
John, I’d be interested in your views on how website usage should be measured especially with some websites doing dodgy things with their stats a while back counting pop3 accesses etc.
Is some independent auditing company needed who will share the data of each participating website needed? There seems to be a conflict with advertisers who want to know exactly what people do on every site and website owners who want to present figures in a way that makes them highly attractive for users.
Also, I would have thought that a 2000 person sample is accurate enough, once the 2000 are distributed properly. Doesn’t Amarach and all those other surveying companies use samples of this size?
Facebook’s UK visitor count jumps by 366% in six months…
The social networking site Facebook increased its total unique visitors in the UK by 366% in the six months from January 2007 to July 2007, according to figures from ComScore. During the same timeframe, the other top 10 social media sites operating in…
comScore data will never be bang on as they use a panel – however they are recognised as a global leader in measuring the digital world. This capability is based on a massive, global cross-section of consumers who have given comScore permission to confidentially capture their browsing and transaction behavior.
For Ireland, comScore uses a 2,000+ strong panel of the Irish online population, weighted to ensure the data is representative, to passively measure internet activity amongst people aged 15+ accessing from home or work. This methodology allows comScore to measure what the resident Irish online population is doing across the entire web (including non-Irish sites) and is not affected by the issue of cookie deletion that can inflate unique visitor numbers on site-centric measurement systems.
As an agency, Cybercom has also questioned why the likes of Facebook and Boards.ie do not feature higher. comScore have committed to looking into this for us. I hope the report will show a more accurate reflection of “what we all feel are the big winners” in the August stats. Having said that, we have only seen a major swing towards Facebook in the last three months. I will share them as soon as we comScore publish them.
@Rob – regardless of the comScore marketing propaganda, the 2000+ panel only reflects the browsing habits of that 2000+ people. Extrapolating those figures and claiming that they reflect the browsing habits of the Irish online population as a whole is mere marketing hype. Perhaps it might detect some general trends but claiming that these are the top sites visited by all Irish internet users is not accuate or true. I doubt very much if comScore even has a viable model of the Irish web.
@Damien – There might be a need for an independent, trustworthy stats company that would provide accurate figures. However getting Irish companies to provide access to the logs is the easy part. Filtering these logs for non-human activity (spiders/scrapers etc) and identifying the Irish users would be the hard part.
John, Iâ€™m not sure if youâ€™re familiar with what constitutes a panel of substantial size for research purposes. To give you an idea, this panel is over twice the size of the panel used for TV audience measurement through Nielsen (1,098 people meters installed).
By no means am I suggesting that comScore is 100% correct but I would suggest that itâ€™s the most accurate means of ranking websites in Ireland.
The Irish track record for third party independent measurement is sketchy to the say the least. The last â€œindustryâ€ based research was the JNIR which was commissioned by (advertising association) IAPI and sponsored (paid for) by a number of leading websites (ie. seeking advertising dollars).
The JNIR only reported on sites that paid to participate and the methodology employed was a combination of an online questionnaire and offline barometer survey. While JNIR provided a benchmark, it was wholly unsuitable for a rapidly changing online market where site usage patterns change by the week.
I would suggest that comScore is a lot more independent that JNIR ever was. In fact, the comScore panel is regularly updated to match broadband penetration and Census information.
Cybercom would back further independent research in this area.
Rob – the problem with this kind of research is that it is not measuring a limited set of websites. Thus the TV viewing panel method (where a the viewing habits of a panel of people watching a limited number (small) of programmes on a small number of channels are monitored) not one that scales well to measuring web vistor measurements. It may show general trends but a lot of the long tail will be missing. And depending on how the panel is chosen and weighted, the results for some sites will be completely skewed (as is the case for Boards.ie and Ireland.com etc).
What comScore is doing is estimating (or exatrapolating) web vistors based on the activity of its panel. The website owners via log file analysis provide actual web visitor statistics. There is a bit of a disconnection between the two. One is an extrapolation that might provide some trends and indications – the other is hard data. The comScore data may well be more accurate than the JNIR figures – I think that JNIR had to restate figures. Because I work with web/domain stats on a daily basis, I have an inherent distrust of extrapolations especially when it comes to web traffic.
Perhaps contacting websites and requesting Irish visitor figures and then comparing the comScore figures might work better than providing the comScore figures on their own.
[…] Irish Websites There hasÂ been plenty of comment over the past week on which are the top Irish websites and how can we find accurate ways to measure […]
I’ve been in this game a long time, and run Monitrack Internet Research, which originated the JNIR and Net Behaviour, Ireland’s largest online media buyer. Here’s my two cents.
I find the numbers in the Tribune article totally incredible, and there’s no methods given. They also seem to be counting the wrong thing and confusing people.
For example, NIH.gov (no.5) is a US health site. Irish people spend more time on it? Really? How many people? Maybe a few sick people, but very few. What is Stardoll.com? (10 years as an online researcher, and never heard of it and here’s why…). Its a paperdoll site.
This isn’t valuabe information and the lists also don’t make any intuitive sense. As there’s no methods given, its difficult to see exactly what’s wrong, but there is a problem. With the most visited websites the problem is the usefullness of the information and again, methods. For example, if you key in Google.com, you get bounced to Google.ie automatically, so why are they both there? Am I counted twice? Who knows.
We in Net Behaviour have been doing a survey over the last year and now track 500 sites. We use it to help with media buying for several of Irelands largest agencies and advertisers. We’ll be launching the data soon, but in the interim, you might like to get some toplines from our blog http://www.thetannoy.com, on Ireland’s top 30 and other bits. We’re showing the total number of people who visit sites in a given month (not unique users, or alexa browsers, or ABC audited server data). The data is based on over 1200 questionnaires from collected from 30 random online sampling points (sites and search engines). Its real time data too.
In my experience, advertisers and marketers are interested in customers and readers, and these are people… Unique users aren’t people as one person can be several unique users. Alexa measures are based on the number of people with Alexa browser downloads, so its not random, mostly US too, and has no demographics. Net Ratings don’t really do demographic data, though they have a go at sex, age, and location (based on probability and household composition). Comscore is the same.
The net is a truly global medium, and any research has to count ALL sites, not just the ones in Ireland to be valid. It also needs full demographic information to give meaning. So, the net isn’t like Irish newspapers, or radio research or other joint national research. It is also a space that has tectonic changes every six months or so. Bebo and YouTube.. came out of nowhere when you think of the net three years ago and Google bidding and Adsense changed net advertising totally in about a year. We also advertise on MSN chat, podcasts, and recently mobile phones, so, now we have to research all of these things alongside news and infomation sites for display advertising.
Any digital or Internet research has to aim for total flexibility, and absolute independence to stand a chance of staying impartial while keeping pace with the changes online. It must stay statistically valid, useful and meaningful. The methods of data collection need to correct, robust and transparent. If not, data becomes a misleading mish-mash of errors, half-truths and sales patter, confusing people and damaging the credibility of the medium.
Tracking 500 sites would not give anything close to an accurate view of Irish internet user habits unless you are actually analysing the webserver log files. I track domain registration/transfers/deletions on a global basis and the Irish internet and web on a specific basis (for a domain/hosting business reporting service) so I do know that the Irish web is somewhat bigger than 500 sites. Once, it was not uncommon to see web hosters claim that they were the biggest in Ireland etc. These claims have ceased in the face of accurate statistics. Now we see similar claims about traffic being made and they are made due to the lack of accurate statistics. The half-assed method of extrapolating the user patterns from a limited set of users is not a good way to measure web traffic because of its bursty nature. Analysing the log files is the best way of doing it. Anything else is just sociology.
Two things. Whatâ€™s bursty? Secondly, tried and tested mathematically sound audience research methods have little or nothing to do with sociology. Itâ€™s just market research. Circa 2 billion euros was spent last year in the display advertising market, with similar predictive research approaches. On radio (day after recall with very large sample), TV (small sample of TV tracking), newspapers (very large sample primary research of header recognition and recall) and outdoor (large offline ad recognition and recall). These other media use this research to provide demographic insight into media consumption and percentages within an acceptable statistical range. If you call anything other than log files â€˜just sociologyâ€™â€¦ so be it. Itâ€™s just not though. (cf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociology). Itâ€™s called audience research, and itâ€™s what advertisers and media owners use and need. Its broad brush stuff, thereâ€™s no doubt, but it works really well, and the findings are right within one or two percent. The demographic insight is invaluable. 35 million euros will be spent on online display advertising this year for the Irish market (not including search and classifieds), so we need this insight for informed media decisions.
Statistics are a bit like magic. You talk to 1200 people the right way, and their opinion will be true for a huge population. When we hear Gordon Brown has grown in popularity by 1% itâ€™s based on this small sample but will be true for a population of over 50 million. Even if several companies do similar research they get the same findings, within a few percentage points. The bigger the sample, the more you can drill down. Strange but true.
Donâ€™t get me wrongâ€¦ Research isnâ€™t everything. Server log activity does have its place as a measure of activity, but it wonâ€™t tell you how many people use a site, or anything about those people. NB use server logs to get a measure of how busy site servers are, so we can gauge what impression will be used if we make a booking, and then tracking takes over. Bigger markets which donâ€™t have a JIC, just let the experience of site advertising command the price of that advertising, and we do that too. We know that even if a site has a gazillion impressions, it may give few clicks per thousand and post click and view behaviour may not be what the client needs, so spend will migrate to perhaps a less busy site, with more suitable user behaviour. Itâ€™s a natural process of optimization, rather than one of research. Itâ€™s not predictive either, itâ€™s anecdotal. So, for the Internet, research is only a small but important part of the big picture of the large scale digital media buying process. It is a digital medium after all. We canâ€™t do this with other media, and if we could, we would, and the predictive measures that exist for these media wouldnâ€™t be so important.
You are also sort of right about the number of sites we track. Its such a fragmented space that we canâ€™t do in-depth demographic exploration of the many sites with a tiny number of Irish visitors, but, as least we know they exist, because the market told us, and we know that they are smaller than others in terms of Irish Internet traffic. If we place ads on them, and it works. Great. When it comes to the larger entities though, like messenger, ethnic sites, banks and insurance companies, search engines news and information site, travel and airlines, sport and the many other major categories, we have considerable insight from this research approach. Insight that server logs couldnâ€™t touch.
Server logs tell so little. Thereâ€™s no demographic information; you canâ€™t compare server logs across sites and unique users arenâ€™t people. Even if you could fix these three things (which you canâ€™t), logs arenâ€™t available independently across the many sites youâ€™d be interested in. Net Ratings and ABC work hard to fix this fact, but itâ€™s still a fact, and working with many small ethnic sites shows us itâ€™s likely to remain a fact unless some new magic technology comes along to sort it all out.
Digital advertisers need to know how many people visit their site, their competitorâ€™s sites, and how many Irish people exist in their market online. They also need to know lots about these people. Do they drive? Are they students? Do they have kids? And then, how many of their market visit the sites they might place advertising on. I only know one way to provide these insights, and if there is a better way, cool. Iâ€™ll take whatever is out there that makes some sense of behemoth of a medium. But I would sayâ€¦ the methods weâ€™re using are so similar to other media. Everyone, except you, canâ€™t be wrong.
What annoyed me about this article is that the headline said it had information on Irish surfers. It promised accurate information on how Irish people use the web, but it just didnâ€™t give it. To the general reader, it was confusing and misleading and the data had no source. Talking about Disney, a paper doll site and the US department of health and saying this is what Irish people spend most of their time doing online is just really, really silly and it made the Irish Internet user look silly. It did little absolutely nothing for medium or those involved, and it just didnâ€™t describe Irish Internet behaviour at all. I mean seriously, I have to ask. Have you ever been king.com, or stardoll.com, or deviantart.com? Do you know anyone who has? This article gave the impression that you should have been there at least once, along with all your mates for between 20 and 30 minutes (how recently it doesnâ€™t say). If you have been to these site, I’d be somewhat worried actually. Oh, and HMV.co.uk isnâ€™t as important a site as iTunes or CDWow for the Irish user. It just isnâ€™t. This article reported measures of the wrong thing and it communicated nothing. And just at a time when advertisers are spending for Christmas too.
I can see just see it. The US department of health suddenly notice an unexplained spike in advertising queries. â€˜What does this graph mean Smithers?â€™ â€˜Itâ€™s the Irish Sirâ€¦they say weâ€™re really popular over there…â€™ â€˜Theyâ€™re trying to get citizenship by pretending to be sick are they? Sneaking in through the banner ads eh?â€™
I advise damage limitation at this stage. Maybe a little clarification, keep the head down and wait for the passing of time.
The term bursty (or burstiness) has to do with the nature of the traffic. A website will be busier at certain times of the day and week. It may also get an increase in traffic due to a mention elsewhere. Rather than web traffic being steady state or constant, it will tend to spike at certain times. Some of it will be event driven – for example news sites and blogs.
Perhaps we are looking at two different things: one is web user behaviour and the other is web user activity. Web user activity is easier to measure from the webserver log files. Behaviour is not so easy to measure so it is necessary to extrapolate from existing data. I am aware of how audience and market research works.
The technology and software to track users across sites exists and it is relatively simple. The problem is getting access to the webserver log files. It would result in a large database but it there are certain optimisations that would work. The increasingly fixed nature of IPs make tracking usage easier.
I think that getting an article like that in the Sunday Tribune news section was the real intention of Cybercom. There was a balancing article by Damien in the business section but few of the people who believed the news section article will have read it.
As regards the Irish web, I probably would have a far better view of it than most advertising research companies. I would have serious reservations about trusting Comscore’s data when it claims that the nih.gov is one of the most popular sites for Irish visitors. Perhaps you had better publish your top 30 quickly. However for the Irish media, it had better be printed on drool proof paper.
@John – ROFL. Where can I get some of that paper? 🙂
@Emmet – I’ve actually visited deviantart, but I can’t see how the average user would have heard of it!
Yes, I was surprised deviantart featured at all. It’s a great resource but can’t possibly be that popular. Something rotten in Denmark methinks.
you’re right. Server activity and audience research are different things… Too often online automated tracking data, and server logs are called ‘research’ but actually, they should be called something else. Activity data? I see it like putting a ticker on the M50 toll bridge, another on the Tunnel, and some more on the major roads… and using this information, trying to describe how big and busy Dublin is. You have to exclude those who pop in and out, cars and lorries and try to work out the number of people. Its all there for the counting, and you’ve counted everything but its very difficult get meaning from it. Compare this with door to door research, or a census, and you have sample research, and registration on a site. Audience measurement typically use samples (as opposed to panels) and these all do different things and tell different stories.
Activity data and research should also be broken down by category. Offline, does a bank compare itself to telephone usage, or road usage, or magazine readership and The Late Late? Course not. So why do Comscore et al do this online. Why have search, banking online, recruitment, youtube, msn, ireland.com and RTE together. They are different. Different markets, models and users.
Banks should be with banks, search engines together, UGC and blogs in another category. Then travel and tourism… and so on. We have to learn to treat online with the same cop on as offline, or soon becomes ridiculous.
I’d say Northern Rock has a lot of ‘traffic’ at the moment…, and Lloyds less so. What’s the real story?
This is a very bad statistic 🙂