Hitwise, by Experian, is a competitive intelligence service that collects data directly from participating Internet Service Providers to analyse trends in website user behaviour and to measure website market share. In order to gain further insights into demographics, Hitwise also utilises ‘opt-in panels‘ that monitor the internet usage of a representative sample of consenting users. Interestingly, Hitwise is able to analyse the movement of visitors between websites, so the information they can offer about the audience for any particular website can be very detailed and valuable to marketers.
Each year the Experian Hitwise Online Performance Awards recognise Australia’s most successful websites based on their market share of visits by Australian’s in over 160 categories. Website owners are not required to be a client of Hitwise to be eligible for the award.
Here’s a summary of some interesting results from the 2009 winners:
- Google.com.au, being the most popular search engine, made the top spot in the Computers and Internet category; alongside NineMSN.com.au and YouTube.com.
- YouTube.com, MySpace.com and forums.whirlpool.net.au made the top three spots in Social Networking and Forums – note that Facebook did not make the list because only Australian websites or those with an Australian base were included.
- YourTV.com.au (provided by NineMSN.com) made it in the top three for both Entertainment and Television.
- Banks took all the top three spots in the Business and Finance category, particularly online banking services, despite other major businesses being listed in this category such as Telstra.com, Seek.com.au, and Realestate.com.au. Just goes to show how frequently people are now using internet banking as an everyday activity.
- Classifieds dominated the top three spots in the automotive category; and it was great to see Holden.com.au making the top spot in the Automotive Manufacturers subcategory – go Holden!
- WorldVision.com.au, PetRescue.com.au and redcross.org.au, made the top three community sites.
Here’s a link to the complete list of winners.
The 2010 winners are expected to be announced in the new year.