Microsoft and Yahoo! dominate UK

- Microsoft and Yahoo! completely dominate the top five list of most visited UK websites during April, according to research by Nielsen//NetRatings.

- Microsoft and Yahoo! completely dominate the top five list of most visited UK websites during April, according to research by Nielsen//NetRatings.

There was no room for UK domains as MSN.com topped the table with 2.9 million visitors, which was 600,000 ahead of Yahoo.com at number two.

Microsoft also accounted for two more of the top five places with its Microsoft.com site reported third, Yahoo.co.uk was fourth, and fifth was Microsoft Passport.com, which is linked to its Hotmail internet email service.

The first home-grown site to appear was BBC.co.uk in ninth place. Freeserve came in at a distant 14.

However, the dominance of Microsoft and Yahoo in the UK is repeated globally. Microsoft and Yahoo command four out of five of the Nielsen//NetRatings list globally.

The situation is very similar in other parts of the world with msn.com and Yahoo.com leading in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. Geocities, the community website, also scores well in a number of places around the world.

John Purcell, sales & marketing director of Nielsen/NetRatings, said: "Globally branding seems to already exist on the net in terms of Microsoft and Yahoo. These two brands seem to dominate a number of markets around the world. The American one included."

The dominance of the US was repeated in various site categories. Amazon.co.uk, for instance, was the top UK shopping site with a unique audience of 702,766. The study also confirmed the rise in popularity of wrestling as the US World Wrestling Federation's website, wwf.com, was the most popular with the UK's under 20s.

Lastminute.com was the second most popular UK shopping site with a unique audience of 485,029 and LineOne's choice of Malcolm MacDowell as choice of spokesman seems to have paid off with the grey market. Nielsen//NetRatings reported it as the top UK site for the over 65s.

Nielsen said active home users grew to 8.29 million from 7.61 million in March.



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