Report: Web Site Usage Up 130% in 1997

A new, joint study by I/PRO (Internet Profiles Corp.) and Media Metrix, The PC Meter Company, shows that the average Web site grew 130% in 1997 and now receives 250,000 visits per day.

The companies said they teamed up for a joint initiative to deliver a comprehensive review of Web usage, combining their two different but complementary data sources.

The result of the collaboration is a report titled “The Web in Perspective: A Comprehensive Review of Web Usage.”

I/PRO uses a site-centric approach, which involves measuring and analyzing activity at a Web site. Media Metrix has developed a user-centric measurement approach, which through its patented PC Meter software technology, tracks actual Web user behavior and demographics. By pooling their data from a representative sample of Web sites, the companies said they have been able to provide unprecedented insight into Web site usage and individual user behavior.

Approximately 40% of Web growth can be directly attributed to users accessing the Web from home, the study showed, and another 15% can be linked to increased frequency, or more usage among existing users. The remaining growth is a result of increased usage at work and burgeoning non-U.S. based traffic.

Other findings:

  • Marketing and e-commerce sites were the fastest growing type of site, increasing 500% in 1997.
  • Significant traffic generating events like the death of Princess Diana and the Heaven’s Gate suicides have a tremendous impact on Web usage. However, rather than increasing reach, these events seem to increase frequency as existing users move around the Web to pull together details.
  • The percent of females online nearly equals the percent of males; however, men access many more pages.
  • Usage patterns by day of week and time of day have remained virtually identical to the patterns reported in 1996. This finding has implications for media planners and buyers as they look to make optimal online buys.

The report is available for $695 and can be ordered on the Web at ipro.com/wip98, or at http://www.mediametrix.com.

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