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Portals Popular

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With the Web--as with life--trading e-mails is good, but getting what you want is better. According to a new report, Web sites that offer Internet services, such as free e-mail, are proving increasingly popular with users, but portals and search engines garner the most traffic.

Nielsen NetRatings* reports that the category of search engines/portals and communities outflanked all competitors with a 92.4 percent at-home reach for the month of May 2001. Sites in the telecom/Internet services category came in second, but their collective reach was more than 20 percent less than that of the search engines/portals category.

What's more, portal popularity is proving permanent. Sean Kaldor, vice president of eCommerce at Milpitas, Calif.-based NetRatings, said that search engines, portals and community sites are getting to be a habit with users. "Nine out of every ten Web users go to such a site every month," said Kaldor, "and are going there more frequently--nearly five times monthly."

DATA POINTS:
--Confirming the rosy glow bestowed on the entertainment industry by New York-based PricewaterhouseCoopers in its new Global Entertainment and Media Outlook report--which predicted that the entertainment and media marketplace will expand at a 7.1 percent compound annual growth rate through 2005--the entertainment sites category was in third place on the NetRatings list, with a 66.6 percent reach.

--Being first in Web site reach means that a unique audience of more than 95 million at-home users visited search engines, portals and community sites in May 2001.

*Nielsen NetRatings figures are for U.S. at-home users.