What Website is the Stickiest One of All?


Yesterday, The Nielsen Company released their “Topline U.S. Data Report for February 2009.”  The easy to read news release provides the Top 10 online Parent Companies and the Top 10 online Web Brands. To no surprise Google is the largest Parent Company (133,983,000 unique audience in February) and largest Web Brand (127,142,000 unique audience in February).  For those wondering what the difference is between the two categories Nielsen describes as follows;

  • Parent Company: consolidation of multiple domains and URL’s owned by a single company or division
  • Web Brand: consolidation of multiple domains and URL’s that has a consistent collection of branded content

The big winners for February, as far as audience is a line-up of “you could have guessed” companies and brands; Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.  So which company was fourth on the largest audience list? Apple? Facebook? eBay? Nope, AOL.  That’s right AOL.  The former king of the net and then fallen son was fourth in company audience and sixth in brand audience, still ahead of Facebook, FOX Interactive (MySpace) and Apple.

But the wins do not stop there for AOL. AOL was the stickiest place on the net with each person spending 3 hours 45 minutes on AOL in February.  More sticky than Yahoo (3 hours 27 minutes) and Facebook (2 hours 59 minutes).  It appears the AOL strategy to add more social and media features to their site. Features and applications such as Twitter apps and Lifestreaming seem to have AOL users staying on AOL longer than any other site user.

Surprised? I was.

So after a big win in the ratings today AOL announced a new CEO, Tim Armstrong; the Google veteran who help build Google into an online advertising behemouth.  So let’s take guess at the future of AOL.  Long user visits+better ad delivery=more revenue.  Could it be that simple?  I don’t know but it will be fun to watch.

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