ComScore today released its analysis of this month’s top properties on ye olde Webernets in the U.S. There are a number of points of interest, but among them, it seems that lotto sites were the top beneficiary of U.S. Internet traffic. This was largely a result of the unprecedented Mega Millions jackpot, which became the largest jackpot in U.S. and world history, reaching $656 million in March. Lotto sites drew nearly 29 million visitors (with MegaMillions.com grabbing the top spot), up 25 percent from February, making it the biggest mover in March.
Travel info sites were the next biggest beneficiary of traffic, according to comScore, as Americans looked to book last-minute spring break trips and summer travel. This made travel one of the top-gainers, up 10 percent to 69.7 million visitors in March. Of the web’s growing number of travel properties, TripAdvisor saw the biggest boost, up 5 percent from the prior month, to a total of 18.1 million visitors. TripAdvisor was followed by Travora (which today acquired NileGuide) at 15.5 million visitors (also up 5 percent), and Yahoo! Travel was up 9 percent with 11.1 million visitors in March.
As is expected in the travel vertical, a rising tide lifts all planes — that is to say that airline sites benefited from travel’s boost in March traffic, growing 8 percent to 29.8 million visitors, with Southwest nabbing the most traffic, up 17 percent to 10.9 million visitors. Following Southwest was Delta at 6.1 million, United Airlines at 5.4 million, American at 4.8 million, JetBlue at 3.3 million, and U.S. Airways at 2.6 million.
As to the top 50 web properties, comScore found a usual suspect at the top of its rankings, with Google Sites bringing in 189.7 million visitors in March. Microsoft Sites came in second at 178.9 million, followed by Yahoo! Sites at 175.4 million, and Facebook.com at 158.9 million. In terms of March movers, Ask Network rose into the seventh spot, while ESPN vaulted six positions to 26th place.
Google also grabbed the top spot in comScore’s “Top 50 Ad Focus” ranking, with its ad network reaching 91.7 percent of U.S. consumers online, followed by AOL Advertising at 83.1 percent, Yahoo Network at 81.4 percent, and AT&T AdWords at 81.1 percent reach in March.
As for the top properties seeing the biggest change in unique visitor counts from February to March, interestingly PerformerSoft.com — the makers of software like PC optimizer, driver automatic updater, data recovery, etc — saw a 152 percent hike in traffic, up to 9.2 million visitors. Rounding out the list, in order, were Sun Microsystems, Babylon.com, College Humor, TheStreet, MLB.com, DailyMotion, SB Nation, Instagram, and ESPN.
More from comScore here. Charts below: