Viral marketing, traffic sharing, drive top new Web sites in 2000

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The top 25 newcomer Web sites in 2000 were driven by viral marketing and traffic-sharing, as well as online sweepstakes and promotions, reports Jupiter Media Metrix. While the majority of top newcomers in the Media Metrix ratings reports rely largely on viral marketing and traffic-sharing to build their online reach, they require registration to amass contact databases for direct-marketing purposes. The ongoing challenge, said Patrick Keane, senior analyst, Jupiter Research, "is converting these databases and traffic into income, especially in a skeptical market with less venture capital and investor patience."

Entertainment sites were among the top traffic getters, with Grab.com, an entertainment and gaming site offering a $1 billion jackpot, the top newcomer of the year with 13.5 million unique visitors in December 2000. Traffic to the site increased by 115.8% since its debut in March at 6.2 million unique visitors. Top advertiser Half.com was the top gainer among the top 25 newcomers according to post-debut traffic growth. With nearly 800 million online-ad impressions in 2000, traffic to the site grew 537.2% since it first appeared in March, increasing from 1.3 million to 8.2 million unique visitors in December 2000.

Copyright February 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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