Top US sites attract most traffic from outside America

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Top US sites attract most traffic from outside America

Internet usage outside US growing more rapidly.

Over half of the top 25 US websites attract more traffic from surfers outside America than from within, new research has claimed.

Web monitoring firm comScore Networks said that the top-five Web properties in the in the US (Yahoo, Time Warner Network, Microsoft, Google and Ebay) are among the 14 top US sites that are most visited by non-American visitors.

"As internet usage outside the US has grown rapidly from a small base, the US share of the world's online population has fallen from 65 percent to less than 25 percent in the past 10 years," said Bob Ivins, managing director of comScore Europe.

"The fact that more than three-quarters of the traffic to Google, Yahoo and Microsoft is now coming from outside the US is indicative of what a truly global medium the Internet has become."

The research found that, although international users represent a larger proportion of the overall traffic to many of the top-ranked US sites, US users are more "engaged" with many of these properties.

Two notable exceptions were Google and Lycos. Google's non-US users represent 79.8 percent of total traffic to the site, but account for a higher share of page views at 89.1 percent.

Lycos, which has non-US users representing 39.4 percent of its visitors, draws a disproportionately higher share of pages from outside the US at 73.3 percent.

"The high proportion of visitors and page views from outside the US represents a solid growth opportunity for US-based ad-supported properties, which currently derive most of their revenues from domestic online advertising, " said Ivins.

Some sites, however, did not attract a substantial percentage of international visitors.

Examples include US-based telecoms/cable companies such as Verizon and AT&T, media entities including Fox (owners of MySpace), New York Times Digital and CBS, and major US retailers, banks and airlines such as Target, Wal-Mart, Bank of America and United Airlines.

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