Virus Spells Ratings Success for Software Sites

While the ‘I love you’ virus devastated computer and email systems around the world,
it caused an increase in page impressions at some software companies’ sites, as users search for antivirus solutions and advice.

May audience ratings figures released by Internet measurement firm
Media Metrix show that antivirus solutions sites and almost doubled their reach, to
hit 157,000 and 263,000 unique visits respectively. These figures corresponded
to the height of the virus attack, according to Media Metrix’s records.

At the same time, top ten rankings remained largely unchanged with
ninemsn/Microsoft topping the list. It was followed by the usual suspects, generally targeted portals such as the AOL Network, Yahoo!, Telstra, Lycos and OzEmail.

“It’s interesting to note that further down the rankings factors such as newsworthiness, promotional activity and seasonal trends can have a profound impact on the number of people visiting a site,” reflected Media Metrix chief executive David Stewart-Hunter of the report findings.

Another example of this Internet phenomenon was with Optus appearing for the first time in the Top 25 ranking.

This follows the May launch of Optus’ own consumer-oriented portal site, OptusNet,
in opposition to the established territories of ninemsn, Yahoo! Australia and New Zealand
and fellow telco Tesltra.

OptusNet, which was developed by Excite Asia Pacific and follows a similar customization methodology, includes news, television and cinema listings and twelve channels of content such as live stock quotes, travel, sports, entertainment and shopping.

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