Where The Online Readers Are: the First Index of Canada's Top 15 Most-Visited Websites is Released

    The first index to look at visitor traffic for Canadian-owned websites
    shows that "content is king": Canadian sites that publish original news
    and articles enjoy the highest traffic.

    VANCOUVER, Feb. 10 /CNW/ - Where The Online Readers Are, the first
readership index of Canadian-owned websites was released today by
www.Suite101.com, the Vancouver-based online magazine.
    The Index was created to show which Canadian-owned websites get the most
traffic. It also highlights the most popular website "types." The January
index shows that content sites dominate: ten of the fifteen highest traffic,
Canadian-owned sites publish news and information.
    "There has been a lack of research on Canadian-owned websites and how
much traffic they get. Yet the results are surprising," said Peter Berger, CEO
of Suite101.com Media. "The top Canadian owned sites aren't shopping or search
sites-they're content sites."

       Company/Website         URL                     Rank(*)  Type of site

    1  Metro Lyrics            www.metrolyrics.com         419    Song Lyric
    2  Plenty of Fish          www.plentyoffish.com        459      Dating
    3  Government of Canada    www.gc.ca                   597    Government
    4  CBC                     www.cbc.ca                 1352       Content
    5  Suite101.com            www.suite101.com           1641       Content
    6  Canoe.ca                www.canoe.ca               1642       Content
    7  Canada.com              www.canada.com             1645       Content
    8  The Weather Network     www.theweathernetwork.com  1650       Content
    9  TD Canada Trust         www.tdcanadatrust.com      1749     Commerce:
    10  Rogers Communications  www.rogers.com             1943       Content
    11  Spintop Games          www.spintop-games.com      2229     Commerce:
    12  The Toronto Star       www.thestar.com            2631       Content
    13  The Globe and Mail     www.theglobeandmail.com    2720       Content
    14  CTV                    www.ctv.ca                 2756       Content
    15  TSN - The Sports
        Network                www.tsn.ca                 2836       Content

    Pam Foran, President of the New York based Online Publishers Association,
comments: "This is consistent with what we find in the US through our Internet
Activity Index, where we track where people spend time online. In January the
majority of consumers spent time with Content (44%) followed next by
Communications (26%). We see this trend continuing, as it has for the five
years we have been tracking time spent online."
    This finding also points to the appetite for professionally created
content, rather than for opinion sites that may not be professionally edited.
"Consumers ascribe different value to different types of content," Foran
notes. "Professionally created content commands significant trust which is
reflected in the increased traffic to many of the newspaper online sites which
continue to grow significantly. Consumers need quality content to stay
informed on news events and to help make buying decisions."

    Index Findings:

    -   Content is king in Canada: ten out of the top fifteen Canadian-owned
        sites are content sites

        -  Only two content sites in the top fifteen are true "online only"
           publications without a print or broadcast outlet: Suite101.com
           and Canoe.ca.

        -  The top Canadian content sites publish material that has been
           overseen by editorial staff; they are not blog or public opinion
           sites (though may include these elements).

        -  Most Canadian content sites are general interest sites for a range
           of visitors; only two focus on specific topics or content areas
           (sports, weather).

        -  Eight of the ten content sites are secondary outlets: the site
           publishes information that was first designed for release by
           newspaper, broadcast, or other outlet.

    -   There are no Canadian-owned search engines ranked in the top fifteen.

    -   There are no Canadian-owned shopping sites and only two commerce
        sites in the top fifteen.

    -   The most visited Canadian-owned site is MetroLyrics, a searchable
        database of song lyrics. The second most visited Canadian-owned site
        is dating site Plenty of Fish.

    -   The top two sites are located in Vancouver, are free for users, and
        receive significant visitor traffic from the US.

    Index Criteria

    Companies must be Canadian-owned. Sites with a US parent company, such as
Google.ca or Amazon.ca, would not be eligible. Site categories are based on
those provided by the Online Publishers Association:

    1.  Content: sites that provide original news, information and
    2.  Commerce: sites that are designed for shopping online.
    3.  Communication: sites that facilitate the exchange of thoughts,
        messages, or information directly between individuals or groups of
    4.  Community: sites that combine user-generated content with
        communications to foster relationships between members and groups of
        members. (eg. Facebook)
    5.  Search: sites that scan the Web to provide results based on specific
        criteria from user-generated requests. (eg. Google)

    (*)The report is based on Alexa.com rankings for website traffic, using
three-month averages. 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".) The Index was inspired by Canada's tech community who
create traffic rankings (see Techvibes.com), for Canadian start-up companies.
Suite101.com intends to publish quarterly Index updates to track the
popularity of Canadian sites.

    About Suite101.com Media

    Suite101.com is an online magazine published by a network of over 2,000
freelance writers. As a company, we're committed to creating opportunities for
writers at each stage of their career. Visitors to Suite101.com find answers
to pressing questions in the 150,000+ articles published on our site, covering
over 400 topics. Suite101.com has emerged over the past decade as a trusted
site visited by over 12 million readers each month. Suite101.com Media Inc. is
a Canadian company based in Vancouver BC with offices in Berlin. Visit
www.suite101.com and www.suite101.de

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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