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EDITIONS
 Tuesday, 31 December, 2002, 08:54 GMT
Google tops best websites list
An internet cafe in London
UK consumers increasingly shopping online
Searching, shopping and swapping sites are firm favourites with UK surfers, shows a list of the top websites of 2002 drawn up by net ratings firm Nielsen.

There are few surprises in the list and almost all of them will be well known to anyone who spends time online.

Search engine Google takes the spot as the top site of the year.

According to figures gathered by Nielsen, the search site's share of the UK's web audience jumped to 28% during 2002.

Nielsen said Google's slow expansion taking in its news search site and shopping portal would only help it maintain its popularity during 2003.

Online market

Shopping sites also featured heavily in the list. Web auctioneer eBay was revealed as the e-commerce site which has seen a steady growth in its audience in 2002.

Close-up of a CD
Online swapping of music still prevalent
Nielsen notes that it was slow to catch on in the UK but now is proving useful to many.

Also among the shopping sites were price comparison and review site Dooyoo, which was named as newcomer of the year.

E-commerce giant Amazon took the title of e-tailer of the year and is now visited by 20% of UK web users once per month.

Swapping times

File-swapping site Kazaa was named as the site gathering most followers and users via word of mouth.

Kazaa's audience has grown by 6.2% in 2002.

Nielsen expects this to grow significantly in the next 12 months if it can shrug off legal action and gain users via signing deals with net service providers and portals.

An honourable mention went to the BBCi portal for its expansion beyond broad news coverage into providing background and extras for many BBC programmes, for its support of digital radio and for making some radio shows available online long after they were transmitted.

Nielsen's European net analyst Tom Ewing said "Not all the sites we've singled out appear in our top domains lists each month.

"But they've been 2002's best performers and show the resilience and creativity of the online sector."

See also:

18 Dec 01 | UK
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16 Dec 02 | dot life
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14 Jan 02 | dot life
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