Top Newspaper Sites Get Boost In Visitors

    January 28, 2009

There was a 16 percent year-over-year increase in unique visitors to the top 10 newspaper Web sites, growing from 34.6 million unique visitors in December 2007 to 40.1 million in December 2008, according to Nielsen Online. was the top online newspaper in December 2008, with 18.2 million unique visitors. took the number two spot with 11.4 million and landed in the three spot with 9.5 million unique visitors.

"Nine of the top 10 newspaper Web sites experienced positive year-over-year growth," said Chuck Schilling, research director, agency & media, Nielsen Online.

Web Traffic

"News coverage in December ranged from how the 2008 holiday season would be affected by the weakening economy to Obama’s latest nomination for his administration, all of which helped to drive this impressive growth."

Not only are more people visiting newspaper Web sites, but they are also visiting these sites more frequently than they were a year ago. The number of total visits to the top 10 newspaper sites increased 27 percent year-over-year, growing from 199.6 million in December 2007 to 252.7 million in December 2008.

"Despite the current troubles for the traditional newspaper industry, people are visiting newspaper sites more and more often to stay on top of current events," said Schilling.

"The challenge for newspaper publishers today is to learn how to capitalize on this active online readership and translate their increasing engagement into revenue."