Suite101.com Releases Its Second Annual Index Of Most Visited Canadian Web
Sites

Annual Index Reveals Content Is Still King and Overall Social Media Use Increases

VANCOUVER, April 29 /CNW/ - Suite101.com, a global content site that provides trusted and reliable information to consumers today released its second annual readership index of Canadian-owned Web sites, entitled "Where The Online Readers Are." The second annual index reveals that the top sites remain largely content sites, and social media activity by the top-trafficked sites has increased substantially.

In 2009 the Index revealed that content was definitely king, with ten of the top 15 sites being publishers of news and information. In 2010, content is still dominant but beginning to lose ground as social media companies have entered the Index. Four Canadian-owned sites were new to the list this year. The 2010 results show that two thirds of the Index gained global traffic over last year while one third saw their global traffic ranking decline.

"It's not surprising to see content sites remain highly trafficked in Canada for the second year in a row," said Peter Berger, CEO, Suite101.com. "What is new this year is seeing the arrival of social-media related sites in the Index. It's also interesting to see how the two intersect: content sites are using social media tools to promote their articles, news and content. Consumers continue to have an appetite for high quality, informative content. Facebook, Twitter and related Canadian-owned tools like HootSuite are fantastic vehicles to increase readership."

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Rank Company/        URL                        Global Alexa   Type of
          Website                                      Rank*       Site
                                                     (last year
                                                       rank in
                                                      brackets)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1   Plenty of Fish   www.plentyoffish.com         344  (459)  Dating/
                                                                   community
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2   Ow.ly            http://ow.ly/url/shorten-url 468   new   URL
                                                                   shortener
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    3   Government of
         Canada          www.gc.ca                    540  (597)  Government
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    4   Metro Lyrics     www.metrolyrics.com          587  (419)  Song
                                                                   lyrics
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    5   Suite 101.com    www.suite101.com             660 (1641)  Content
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    6   Whos Amung Us    http://whos.amung.us         843   new   Social
                                                                   media
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    7   HootSuite        www.hootsuite.com            877   new   Marketing
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    8   Sympatico        www.sympatico.ca            1206   new   Content/
                                                                   services
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    9   CBC              www.cbc.ca                  1195 (1352)  Content
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    10  The Weather
         Network         www.theweathernetwork.com   1703 (1650)  Content
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    11  TD Canada Trust  www.tdcanadatrust.com       1795 (1749)  Commerce
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    12  The Globe and
         Mail            www.theglobeandmail.com     1801 (2720)  Content
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    13  Canoe.ca         www.canoe.ca                1951 (1642)  Content
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    14  Toronto Star     www.thestar.com             2400 (2631)  Content
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    15  Rogers
         Communication   www.rogers.com              2409 (1943)  Content/
                                                                   services
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    *as of 4/28/10
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

"One of the challenges in ranking Web site popularity is knowing which metrics to measure," said Todd Maffin, social media expert. "One site might have a high volume of visits, but might be low in influence. It is interesting to see that the majority of these sites are using social media to increase exposure and build an audience. Social media can help these organizations - especially content-driven sites - develop a stronger Web presence in order to boost influence, which is quickly becoming a more important metric than hits."

Index Findings:

    
    -   The Index revealed interesting patterns in how the top Canadian sites
        are using social media tools. All but one of the sites use Twitter to
        increase awareness and marketshare; the one that does not, Ow.ly is a
        tool widely used on the social media platform to shorten URLs.

    -   Social media is gaining ground quickly in Canada: three of the top
        ten sites are used within social media and all are newcomers to the
        Index.

    -   All of the top 15 sites use Facebook to create fan communities and
        influence. Telecom giant Rogers Communications has also seen that
        Facebook can be a way for disgruntled customers to air discontent, as
        the company has a handful of online groups boycotting the business.

    -   Content is losing ground in Canada but remains popular: over half of
        the top 15 sites focus on content:

        -  Newspaper outlets are not dying; The Globe and Mail and
           Toronto Star gained online traffic in the last year.

        -  Suite101 had the biggest traffic increase in the last year,
           jumping 981 points in Alexa rankings.

        -  Only three content sites in the top 15 are truly Web-based without
           a print or broadcast outlet: Suite101.com, Sympatico.ca and
           Canoe.ca.

        -  The majority of the top Canadian content sites publish material
           that has been overseen by editorial staff: none are blog or public
           opinion sites, though they may include these elements.
    

Index Criteria

Companies must be Canadian-owned. Sites with a US parent company such as Google.ca or Amazon.ca are not eligible. The report is based on Alexa.com global rankings for website traffic. Alexa is an accepted system that analyzes web traffic using online toolbars and data sources. (The world's most visited site gets an Alexa rank of 1.) Categories are based on those used by the Online Publishers Association. The Index was inspired by the Canadian tech community Index of start-up companies. Suite101.com publishes this Index annually to track the popularity of Canadian-owned sites.

About Suite101.com Media

Suite101 is considered one of the most respected curators of original content. This takes the form of great articles posted by 10,000-plus writers on Suite101's four sites: www.Suite101.com, www.Suite101.de, www.Suite101.fr, and www.Suite101.net. Suite101.com Media Inc. is a private Canadian company based in Vancouver, British Columbia with offices in Berlin, Madrid and Paris. It has been a successful consumer internet operation for over thirteen years and has an international full-time staff of 30 with 40 editors working around the world. The company is co-owned by Burda Digital Ventures of Munich and Vancouver-based Internet entrepreneur Dr. Boris Wertz of W Media Ventures.

Over 28 million people visit Suite101 sites each month. Suite101.com was recently named to the top ten U.S. list for traffic growth by comScore Media Metrix.

SOURCE SUITE101 MEDIA

For further information: For further information: Media contact: Marci Hotsenpiller, Suite101.com Media Inc., Tel: (250) 650-6524, communications@suite101.com

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