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Monday, 19 March, 2001, 16:49 GMT
MSN builds UK lead over Yahoo
woman surfing the net
MSN appears to be widening its lead over Yahoo as the UK's most popular internet portal.

The number of UK visitors to MSN has increased by 100,000 a month since December, while traffic hitting Yahoo's pages has shown much slower growth, according to research by Jupiter MMXI.


The UK population... is making more definitive choices of how they spend time on the web

Mari Kim Coleman
Jupiter MMXI research
During the last six months, the number of Britons logging on to the internet at home has increased by one million to 13.5 million users.

The slower usage growth of the Yahoo portal in the UK will add to the internet firm's recent woes which include a profit warning and the resignation of its chief executive Tim Koogle.

Demanding surfers

Jupiter says that as surfers mature, they have more specific demands to make of the services offered by their internet provider.

"The UK internet population is maturing... we are seeing how consumers are making more definitive choices of how they spend their time on the web," said Mari Kim Coleman, from Jupiter MMXI.

UK's top 10 domains and viewer numbers
1. MSN.com - 5.5m
2. Yahoo.com - 4.6m
3. Freeserve - 4.1m
4. Microsoft - 4m
5. MSN.co.uk - 3.6m
6. Passport - 3.4m
7. Yahoo.co.uk - 2.9m
8. BBC.co.uk - 2.6m
9. MSN messenger - 2.4m
10. AOL - 2.3m
source: Jupiter MMXI
Page counts not only prove a website's popularity; they are also used in calculating the fees charged to companies wishing to advertise on any particular portal.

Yahoo was forced to issue a profits warning earlier this month because of a downturn in advertising revenues.

And analysts have become increasingly sceptical about the Yahoo business model - which relies on advertising.

Child power

Jupiter's research also highlighted the BBC's website, which made it into the top ten, even though it is a pure content web site and not a portal site like the other most-visited pages.

Child-centered websites such as Disney.co.uk and popstarsonline.net are other sites that have shown particular growth.

Children aged between two and fourteen are the fastest growing category of surfers.

Young surfers have boosted their presence form 10.7% of the population last October compared to 15.2% last month.

And the digital divide is also narrowing with more lower income households logging on.

In the US, AOL Time Warner is the most popular website, with Microsoft sites in second place, and Yahoo in third.

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See also:

19 Dec 00 | Business
UK internet access rises
07 Mar 01 | Business
Yahoo shares suspended
08 Mar 01 | Business
Yahoo warns earnings will slip
08 Mar 01 | Business
Yahoo slide halts tech rally
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