• Top three sites unchanged in January with news.com.au leading smh.com.au and ABC News
• January numbers show spikes in travel plus growth at education and career-focused sites too
The first Nielsen Online Ratings figures of 2016 reveal that Australians spent the first month of the year online planning the year ahead. While current events and global news ranking remained relatively stable, January figures show spikes in travel as well as education and career-focused websites.
As the festive season came to a close, several travel-related websites experienced increased audiences including airlines and hotel research and booking sites. Qantas led the airline sub-category with an audience of 1.9 million, while Virgin saw a 19% increase since December to an audience of 1.2 million. Qatar Airways saw a 357% month-on-month spike off a small audience in December, and Air New Zealand and Air Asia both experienced over 110% increases since December.
Many Australians have also been booking or researching their next trip, with all top 10 entities in the cruise lines, hotels/hotel directories and multi-category travel categories seeing double digital audience growth since December. Overall, the hotels/hotel directories sub-category experienced a 25% increase since December, with Booking.com seeing an increase of 55% to an audience of 1.9 million, while third-placed Trivago experienced the highest increase of 187% to 760,000 people.
Educational and career-focused websites also saw an increase in audience as school leavers researched their tertiary education options and submitted preferences, while workers looked into career development opportunities or a new position. UAC, the Universities Admission Centre’s website, experienced a 110% increase with 122,000 people visiting the site in January. Many universities across the country saw spikes in audience, with the Education & Careers-Universities sub-category growing 11% on December 2015.
January was also a month for career development with the sub-category growing by 14% from December and Seek seeing a 39% increase to an audience of 2.2 million.
Current events & global news sub-category
The top three websites – news.com.au, smh.com.au, ABC News – maintained their rankings by unique audience. Overall the sub-category grew in unique audience by 7%, as anticipated after the Christmas period.
Daily Mail Australia and ninemsn News switched rankings in January, with Daily Mail Australia coming into fourth position. Yahoo7 News Websites came back into the top 10 in sixth position.