Today comScore released its list of “Top 50 U.S. Web Properties for July 2011“, which unsurprisingly ranked Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) number one in terms of unique visitors, which totaled 182.3 million last month. Not far behind was Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) with 177.6 million visitors, followed by Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) sites with 174.3 million unique visitors, then Facebook and AOL (NYSE:AOL) rounding out the top 5.
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In terms of online advertising, Google was also king, with the Google Ad Network reaching 93.3% of Americans online, followed by Yahoo! Network Plus, which reached 87.5% of Internet users, then AOL Advertising, Yahoo! Sites, and ValueClick Networks. Facebook came in at number 12, reaching 75.4% of all Internet users last month.
But none of the top 5, or the top 50 for that matter, should come as much of a surprise, with sites like Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), Twitter, ESPN (NYSE:DIS), and eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) coming in strong. What might be less expected is the type of sites gaining in popularity last month. Consumer goods and apparel retailers did surprisingly well, despite declining consumer spending. Back-to-school shoppers got a head start, driving up traffic on consumer goods sites by 13% to 25.6 million people visiting sites for Office Depot (NYSE:ODP), Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS), and QVC. Apparel sites drew 8% more traffic in July than the previous month with 66 million unique visitors. Zappos came first in the category, followed by Limited Brands (NYSE:LTD), Nordstrom.com (NYSE:JWN), Nike (NYSE:NKE), and OldNavy.com (NYSE:GPS).
Beauty/Fashion and retail toys sites also gained, but the top gaining category was online ticket sales. Nearly 26 million people browsed sites for summer concerts, events and entertainment in July, an increase of 23% over June. Ticketmaster (NASDAQ:IACI) outperformed all the rest with 10.9 million visitors, up 13% from the previous month, followed by MovieTickets.com with 5.6 million users, Tickets.com with 3.6 million, and StubHub.com (NASDAQ:EBAY) with 3.4 million.
Some of the individual sites making the biggest month-over-month gains in July include Dell (NASDAQ:DELL), which increased its PC market share during the second quarter, and Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS), which benefited from the increasing popularity of its Nook e-reader and the dissolution of its only major competitor, Borders. Back-to-school sales were responsible for Staples.com increasing its number of unique visitors by 30% in July, making it the second biggest gainer on comScore’s list, but coming in at number one with a whopping 82% month-over-month gain was the NFL Internet Group. In June 2011, NFL sites had 6.1 million unique visitors. The following month, that number jumped to 11.2 million as a resolution to disputes over player contracts was effected.