Top Websites' Visitors Stray but Keep Coming Back

The leading sites in three key Web categories - search, career development and multi-category travel - experienced high month-over-month visitor retention rates from June to July, but also significant audience overlap with the other top players in their categories, according to Nielsen/NetRatings, MarketingCharts reports. Search sites Among those categories, search providers had the highest visitor retention rates, with an average of 71 percent of June visitors at home returning in July among the three leading search players, NetRatings reported (pdf): * Google Search led with a home retention rate of 79 percent * Yahoo Search followed with 69 percent retention. * MSN/Windows Live Search audience retention was 65 percent. Visitor retention rates were slightly higher among the work audience, with an average of 76 percent among the three leading search providers. However, a substantial portion of visitors went to more than one of these three search sites in July: * MSN/Windows Live Search had the highest audience overlap, with 84 percent of its unique visitors also going to Google Search, Yahoo Search, or both. * Yahoo Search had a 78 percent audience overlap with Google and/or MSN. * Google Search had a 63 percent audience overlap with one or both of its two primary competitors. Career Development Sites The top three sites in the career development category, CareerBuilder Network, Monster and Yahoo HotJobs, experienced a similar phenomenon, although to a lesser degree. They had an average month-over-month audience retention rate of 38 percent at home; at work, it was 44 percent. had the most audience overlap with the other two, at 50 percent. Yahoo HotJobs had a 45 percent audience overlap, while CareerBuilder Network's was 34 percent. Travel Sites Compared with the other two categories, the top sites in multi-category travel, Expedia, Orbitz Worldwide Network and Travelocity, had the lowest average month-over-month at-home visitor retention rates, at 31 percent. At work it was slightly higher, at 35 percent. Audience overlap was fairly similar between the three properties, at 59 percent, 58 percent and 51 percent for Orbitz Worldwide Network, Travelocity and Expedia, respectively.

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