February marks the end of football season and the second month of US income tax season, so it should come as no surprise that the NFL and ESPN websites saw substantial traffic losses in February, while the financial software company behind TurboTax saw the largest increase in visits month-over-month. Welcome to the first installment of a new analysis that focuses on the websites with the largest increases and decreases in traffic from within the US.
February’s top 10 websites for increased traffic MoM
To prepare this report, we analyzed the clickstream activity of our 100-million global consumer panel to identify the top ten websites by MoM changes in visits from within the US. Big winner Mozilla saw a 30 percent increase in traffic month over month, ranking #1 on our list. This was mainly due to a large traffic spike on March 8 when Mozilla launched version 52 of Firefox, the first web browser to support the WebAssembly standard.
Sports are always big in March and the NCAA tournament made a significant impact on visits to sports sites including #2 CBS Sports, up 25 percent month-over-month, and #3 ESPN, up 19 percent. Interest in the college hoops tournament also pushed the NCAA website into our expanded top 200 domain list.
We know that we are in tax season as visits to the IRS website pushed it into the top 100 domains visited within the US as taxpayers were perhaps checking up on their refund status or going to the IRS website to get additional information while preparing their tax forms.
Movie ticketing site Fandango ranked #4 with a 13 percent MoM improvement. Home improvement retailer Lowe’s ranked number five, with traffic up 10 percent. Competitor Home Depot ranked 10th with a 7 percent uptick in traffic.
February’s top 10 websites for decreased traffic MoM
Publications and news sites saw significant decreases MoM, as sites like the NY Post, Time, Medium, LATimes, and About saw more than 15 percent audience decreases MoM. Forbes, CNN, and Forbes fared only slightly better.
After an initial spike in February, TurboTax maker Intuit’s traffic declined by 31 percent month over month. Couple that with the IRS website making the top 100 domains visited this month, suggests a fair number of people have already completed their taxes online and are now waiting on their refund.
About.com also showed a 31 percent audience drop during March.
Bottom line: Sports, movies and home improvement sites dominated February’s winners list. News and publications, perhaps not surprisingly after Trump-driven traffic during January and February, were the big losers. Who will prevail in April? Come back next month for our updated top 10 and bottom 10 listings!