Yahoo!, Wikipedia Lead Educational Search

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The Internet continues to evolve into an all-encompassing experience, as a place to shop, to entertain, to communicate, and, as Nielsen/NetRatings reports, a place to educate yourself. In September, sites like Wikipedia and Yahoo! Education enjoyed traffic surges representing nearly a third of the active Internet population.

Combined, educational reference sites brought in over 46 million surfers digging for information. Wikipedia, the user-generated online encyclopedia, led the pack with nearly 13 million unique visitors in September. Wikipedia has shown 289 percent growth since last year.

“The ‘Wiki’ phenomenon offers the added element of user interaction, which appeals to college-educated Web users’ sense of altruism by allowing them to add or correct online content,” said Nielsen/NetRatings analyst Gerry Davidson.

Yahoo! Education came in second on Nielsen’s list of 50 research sites, providing language translation and reference materials, literary works, Bartleby.com’s edition of “Gray’s Anatomy of the Human Body,” and a world fact book. Yahoo! Education expanded traffic by 205 percent, attracting 3.3 million visitors.

EHow, a site offering how-to instructions on “just about everything,” showed a 97 percent increase in traffic with just over 2 million visitors. The fourth and fifth most visited educational reference sites also include CollegeBoard.com and City-Data.com, each increasing traffic by 58 percent.

“The growth of educational reference sites stem from the basic offerings of the Internet – free and quick access to information,” said Davidson.

Yahoo!, Wikipedia Lead Educational Search
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