The Web became a useful ally during and after the terror attacks on New York and Washington, as people found their way, in increased numbers, to a wide-range of destinations, including Web sites for helping organizations, as well as news, government and financial sites.
According to new analysis from New York-based Jupiter Media Metrix (JMM), the gains in some cases were enormous. Web sites for helping organizations, before the week ending Sept. 16, did not even meet JMM's minimum reporting standard. Redcross.org and helping.org were the leaders in traffic in this category, with 398,000 average daily unique visitors and 223,000 respectively.
Among news sites, Time.com saw the biggest increase in unique visitor traffic for the week ending Sept. 16, with traffic jumping 653 percent, compared to its average for the prior three weeks. Foxnews.com saw traffic spike 437 percent during the same period; Slate's number of daily unique visitors rose 385 percent and ABCNews.com 321 percent. Sites also listing big increases: BBC.CO.UK, CNN.com and AP.org.
Users also visited government sites in surging numbers, as whitehouse.gov saw an increase of 493 percent in its traffic and house.gov 120 percent, both over the prior three-week average. Worried money trackers helped CNNFN.com increase its traffic by 124 percent.
And bookstores weren't the only entities reporting interest in the writings of Nostradamus, whose prophecies seem suddenly back in vogue. 144,000 average daily unique visitors logged onto Nostradamus-repository.org for the week ending Sept. 16.
--Users also logged onto airline sites. Traffic to united.com increased 128 percent over the prior three-week average; Delta.com's traffic was up 72 percent and AA.com saw a surge of 45 percent. Amtrack.com saw a 90 percent increase.
--Other financial sites that saw substantial increases in traffic the week ending Sept. 16 include Marketwatch.com, 61 percent; Bloomberg.com, 58 percent; and WSJ.com 42 percent.
Source: Jupiter Media Metrix. Numbers indicated refer to week ending Sept. 16, 2001. All growth rates refer to change in average daily unique visitors over prior three-week average.