Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hitwise on

HitWise on

With the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa still over 200 days away from its opening match, UK Internet traffic to has already hit a three year high. For the week ending 12/09/09, the FIFA homepage jumped 3,643 places, ranking #484 among all websites.

A significant contribution to the spike in traffic occurred after the home match between England vs Croatia on 09/09/09, where England won 5-1 securing their spot in the World Cup. On the same day, the FIFA homepage soared to number 1 in the Sports - Football Category, picking up 1 in every 28 visits. The BBC was the biggest recipient of downstream traffic, with BBC Sports, BBC homepage and BBC News collectively picking up 6.33% of all traffic from

News In Brief
Searches for climate change and energy efficiency

With environmental concerns becoming increasingly important, it comes as no surprise that climate change was chosen as the topic for Blog Action Day '09. To look at climate change related searches online in the UK, two Hitwise search term portfolios were consulted: Environmental Concerns (searches for information about climate change e.g.'global warming' and 'carbon footprint') and Energy Saving/Efficiencies (searches relating to the practical steps people are actually making to combat climate change by consuming less energy e.g. 'loft insulation' and 'solar panels').

Based on volume of searches for these portfolios over the last two years, there are currently four times as many UK Internet searches for the Energy Saving/Efficiency portfolio as there are for Environmental Concerns. This gap has widened over time and reflects the gradual shift in attitudes towards climate change over the last few years; from people looking for information in order to understand the issues to more practical searches related to changing behaviours.

Increases in searches for the Environmental Concerns portfolio tend to occur as a result of climate change or global warming being in the news. The most recent increase was driven by two events: the Climate Camp protests and the upcoming intergovernmental climate change conference in Copenhagen. During these peaks, much of the search traffic goes to News and Media websites, but in general the largest recipient of traffic goes to information sites such as Wikipedia and the government's Act on CO2 campaign.

Searches for the Energy Savings/Efficiencies portfolio are less driven by news than seasonality. The most popular terms in the portfolio relate to heating homes or making them more efficient, with 'underfloor heating', 'cavity wall insulation', 'double glazing', 'heating oil prices', 'electricity prices' and 'winter fuel allowance' making up some of the top 10.

Read the full article.

How do people search for travel in the UK?

In the UK, Travel websites rely on search engines for two-fifths of their traffic. During August 09, the top 1,000 search terms sending traffic to websites within the Travel Category were categorized based on the type of things people were searching for, including Agencies/Holidays, Airports, Attractions, Car Hire, Cruises, Ferries, Flights, Hotels/Accommodation, Maps/Directions, Places, Train/Coach, Travel Material and Travel Review.

Looking at the UK data, it is a fairly evenly distribution across the categories, with Agencies/ Holidays the most searched for category. There are a large number of generic searches in this category ('holiday deals", 'travel agents', 'spa breaks') as consumers start their holiday research from a general base. Of all the markets, the UK also had the largest proportion of travel review sites (3%) - primarily branded searches for Tripadvisor when compared with the USA, Canada and Australia.

Methods of transport were heavily searched for in the UK, with Flights and Train/Coach searches each accounting for 16% (however flights were less searched for when compared to the other regions). A quarter of searches for trains and coaches were generic, relating to train times and tickets. The UK also has the largest number of ferry searches, mostly for French destinations.

People in the UK make the highest number of airport searches when compared with the other markets, with the regional airports featuring prominently. 'manchester airport' was the most searched for airport term (followed by Bristol, Gatwick, Heathrow and Birmingham airports). One key variation on airport searches is for airport parking, particularly for the big airports such as Gatwick and Heathrow.

This analysis was taken from a recent Global Travel Update Webinar and blog post, which in addition provides equivalent analysis for the US, Australia and Canada, looking at flight searches to and from the UK, most popular destinations in each country, top airlines and travel brands, plus the impact of social networking.

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