RealTime IT News

Study: Web Sites Can Relieve Winter Woes

The Web may be the perfect tool for beating the winter blues, according to a survey conducted by PC Data.

Categories such as travel, jobs and entertainment saw increases in unique users during the month of January, according to PC Data's January Top 100.

Travel sites showed significantly increased traffic. For instance, with 8.1 million unique users, travelocity.com leaped to number 56 from number 112 last month. Meanwhile, Mapquest.com rose to number 63 from number 69 and expedia.com to number 71 from number 145.

Disney.com, which has a heavy travel component, rose to number 75 from number 99, while financial site americanexpress.com, which also has a heavy travel presence, made it to the top 100 list, dropping from number 110.

Digitalcity.com, which is used by potential vacationers for local planning, also saw its traffic increase in January, jumping to number 68 from number 77 in December.

"The bad news is that overall traffic was down in January, in part a reflection of the general malaise within the entire dot-com industry," said John Megahed, director of research and analysis at PC Data. "The good news though is that even in such a downturn, home users still look to the Web for what are becoming online staples -- travel planning, job leads, music downloads and entertainment news."

Indeed. Following the holiday season, more people began seeking new employment opportunities online. With 11.5 million unique users, jobsonline.com was number 32, up from number 40 last month; its main competitor, monster.com, entered the Top 100 at number 82 from number 143 with 6.7 million unique users.

Meanwhile, entertainment destinations also fared well last month. With 13.4 million unique users, real.com led entertainment sites in January at number 24, up from number 29, while napster.com, with 9 million unique users landed at number 47 from No. 58 the previous month.

Other entertainment sites that fared well include espn.com, uproar.com, mtv.com, ea.com, eonline.com and netbroadcaster.com.