NIH.gov Leads as Top Site in the Government Category Attracting More than 10 Million Visitors in September
Nearly 18% of All Clicks from Flu Searches in September Drive Traffic to CDC.gov
RESTON, VA, November 1, 2011 – comScore, Inc., a leader in measuring the digital world, today released a study of audience visitation to public health sites in the U.S. The study found that health-focused sites represented 3 out of the top 10 federal Government sites in September, indicating a high level of public interest in health information. NIH.gov, the flagship property of the National Institutes of Health, drew 10.6 million Americans in September 2011, making it the most popular site in the Government category.
“Public health information sites produced by government agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have proven to be invaluable resources to many Americans,” said John Mangano, comScore vice president for Health Marketing Solutions. “We have seen that leading public health sites attract as many visitors as some of the top properties in the commercial Health category, indicating that consumers continue to look to public health sites for objective and credible information on topics ranging from health conditions to pharmaceutical information.”
NIH.gov Ranks as Leading Government Health Site, Followed by CDC.gov
In September 2011, NIH.gov ranked as the leading public health site with the most unique visitors within the Government category, while having a comparable audience size to top sites within the Health category such as Yahoo! Health and MSN Health. NIH.gov received 10.6 million visitors in September, growing 22 percent from the previous year partly driven by a continued partnership with Google that returned NIH results as the first unpaid listing for pharmaceutical-related searches. The growth of the site outpaced both the Government sector’s 3-percent overall category growth and the Health sector’s 15-percent category growth over the past year.
Also ranking among the top ten federal Government sites were CDC.gov, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site, and USDA.gov, the Department of Agriculture site. USDA.gov showed a similar increase in traffic as NIH.gov, with a 20 percent gain over the previous year. HealthFinder.gov, an initiative of the Department of Health and Human Services, saw the highest increase in traffic from the previous year (69 percent), drawing 113,000 unique visitors in September 2011.
|Selected Government Health Sites by Unique Visitors (000)
Total U.S. Home and Work Audience
Source: comScore Media Metrix
|Total Unique Visitors (000)||% Change from September 2010|
Flu Searches Drive Visitors to CDC.gov and Flu.gov
In September 2011, broad-matched searches for flu information drove a significant amount of search click-throughs to CDC.gov and flu information site Flu.gov, illustrating the important role of search in driving visitors to public health sites. In September, 1.8 million searches were conducted related to the flu, increasing 116 percent from August as many people began flu season preparation earlier. CDC.gov accounted for the highest share of click-throughs at 17.7 percent during the month, followed by New York Times Digital (3.7 percent) and WebMD Health (3.4 percent). Flu.gov accounted for nearly 2 percent of all click-throughs.
|Top Term Destinations for Search Activity Related to Flu*
Total U.S. – Home and Work Locations
Source: comScore Search Planner
|Property||% of Click-Throughs|
|New York Times Digital||3.7%|
|Wikimedia Foundation Sites||2.0%|
*Includes broad matches on the search term “flu”
“With health topics ranging from disease prevention to health care availability continuing to be priority issues for Americans, we are seeing government health agencies invest more in their digital media strategies to make information and resources more easily accessible,” added Mr. Mangano. “Public health marketers and strategists need to understand their online audiences’ characteristics as well as their behaviors in order to ensure the further success of digital campaigns, while also building on the commercial Health sector’s best practices.”