During December 2009, winter weather hit the country driving holiday travelers online, according to Compete's latest top 50 website rankings.
Six of the top 20 highest growth website categories in December were travel and weather related. The airport travel category attracted 40 percent more unique visitors in December (2.1 million) than the previous month. News sites related to weather and traffic also saw big growth, increasing visitors by 34.8 percent over November to reach 52.5 million unique visitors.
Weather.com still has a clear hold on the online weather market. The popular forecast site attracted 33.6 million unique visitors in December, a 46.7 percent increase month-over-month and 22.1 percent growth over 2008. Wundergroud.com also continued steady growth, reaching 6.98 million unique visitors in December, which represents 19.3 percent growth year-over-year.
Shipping services attracted consumer's attention in December as they logged on to track shipped packages and research shipping rates. UPS.com led the online shipping sites with 25 million unique visitors, a 51.9 percent increase month-over-month and 17 percent year-over-year growth. USPS.com trailed, attracting 23.4 million unique visitors, while 15.5 million unique visitors clicked on FedEx.com.
While the top 50 websites in December once again remained largely unchanged, there were two notable moves among the group. eBay moved up the ranks to take the number five spot on the most popular site list. With 88.5 million unique visitors in December, the site was previously ranked number eight edged out Amazon (85.9 million unique visitors) by growing 19.6 percent month-over-month.