Compete: Bing Lifts Search; iPhone Drives Traffic to Apple, AT&T

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Includes: AAPL, MSFT, T
by: Marketing Charts

Compete, a TNS Media company, today released a snapshot from the Compete 250 - its monthly ranking of the top 250 trafficked Web sites. In June 2009, new product launches, including Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone and Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Bing search engine, triggered traffic surges for three top-50 sites - Apple.com, ATT.com (NYSE:T) and Bing.com. In addition, entertainment sites TMZ.com and eonline.com saw spikes as the news of Michael Jackson’s death rippled across the Web. Facebook quiz apps, including the ‘How well do you know me’ meme (from gummyquiz.com), rounded out the top month-over-month gains.

June Is Big for Bing

Traffic to Bing.com skyrocketed in June, with nearly 50 million unique visitors (UVs) flocking to the site in its first full month of activity. Impressive - even in the context of its predecessor search.live.com topping 22 million unique visitors the month before. In fact, despite an overall 1.7 percent decline in the search market, Bing attracted 19 million more queries in June than May. Bing now holds a spot at number 13 on the Compete 250 ranking of the most highly trafficked sites on the Web, meaning the new search engine now trumps popular destinations including Twitter, Digg and About.com. To put that in context with Microsoft’s other/prior properties, Live.com ranked #4 in May and MSN.com ranked #4 in June. Compete’s Bing analysis continues here.

It’s All About the iPhone

The iPhone 3G S was officially unveiled on June 6th, sending eager consumers to AT&T and Apple. AT&T’s site traffic grew 8.2 percent in June and Apple.com saw a 19.1 percent increase over May traffic numbers; both sites rank in Compete’s top 50. By contrast, while Palm’s launch of the Pre drove a traffic increase of 42.6 percent for Palm.com in June, the site still drew just over 930,000 or 4 percent of Apple’s overall UV count (23,096,851). According to a recent Compete analysis, the iPhone 3G S stole the Palm (PALM) Pre’s thunder in June.

The Michael Jackson Effect

When TMZ.com first broke the news of Michael Jackson’s death, the site secured the top spot among the fastest-growing Web sites in June. News of the fallen pop star drove a 37.4 percent increase in traffic to TMZ (9,087,828 UVs) and similarly boosted traffic to eonline.com by 22.5 percent (10,347,858 UVs). More than 7 million people searched for ‘Michael Jackson’ in June, further contributing to the rise in entertainment interest.

Quizzes, Quizzes and More Quizzes

Rounding out the list of fastest-growing sites in the Compete 250 were quiz sites gummyquiz.com (7,707,437 UVs) and iqquizapp.com (7,954,902 UVs). Both sites, which didn’t exist in June 2008, have cracked the top 200 Web sites by growing substantially in June 2009. The surge in traffic can be attributed to Facebook activity as each site receives more than 25 percent of referral traffic from the social network. In fact, gummyquiz.com - popular for the ‘How well do you know me?’ app - gets more than 92.9 percent of its referral traffic from Facebook.com.

The Compete 250 is a category made up of the top 250 trafficked sites across the Web, providing an index to understand what is happening with the top online sites on a regular basis. Marketers use the Compete 250 to take the pulse of the Internet economy, see where people are spending their time online, which sites are moving up or down in the ranks and how traffic and engagement changes over time. The Compete 250 is available to Compete PRO subscribers at www.compete.com.