Apple is the fastest growing site on the Web among the top brands, beating out Google, Amazon, and even Microsoft, according to a recent Nielson/NetRatings study. The study compared the top ten Web brands year-over-year growth for November in 2005.
Apple ranked number one with a 57 percent growth rate with 19.6 million online visitors in November 2004, compared to 30.8 million visitors in November 2005. The study attributes Appleis sharp increase to the popularity of the iPod.
Gerry Davidson, senior media analyst for Nielsen//NetRatings, commented "Among the top Web brands, fierce competition for share of online visitors continues to be a catalyst for the launch of new products and features."
Google came in second with a 29 percent increase. It had 66.4 million visitors last November, and 85.5 million this November. Amazon was third at 16 percent, with 36.6 million visitors last November, and 42.5 million this November.
Although Apple took the spot for the fastest growing Web site, Yahoo! is the most visited. In November of 2004, it had 94.5 million visitors, and this November, it had 103.8 million.
The rest of the top ten includes MapQuest (13%), Real (12%), eBay (10%), Yahoo! (10%), Microsoft (8%), AOL (4%), and MSN (2%).
Based on the number of unique visitors, Apple ranked number ten, although it did average 47 minutes, 20 seconds for each visitor, several minutes more than Microsoftis 43 minutes, 30 seconds. AOL beat out all of the top ten sites with an average 6 hours, 13 minutes, 39 seconds per visitor.
The report also listed the fastest growing Web brands, with PhotoBucket at the top of the pack. It jumped up 1,492 percent from 983,000 unique visitors in November 2004 to 15.64 million in November 2005. MySpace came in at number two with 752 percent growth. Its visitors for November 2004 came in at 2.87 million, and 24.49 million in November 2005.
The explosive growth many of these sites are seeing is being driven by a younger demographic. The majority of the visitors that are attracted to the top sites are more likely to fall in the 12-24 year old range. They account for a 50-90 percent increase in visitors in their age bracket, compared to the average Web siteis audience.
Another area showing strong growth are the social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook. Mr. Davidson noted "They provide a desirable service in an entertaining format. Thus it is not surprising that many of the fastest growing sites fall into the social networking, blogging, and online member community genres."