Guardian.co.uk reclaimed the top spot in the national newspaper web traffic league table in June when it became the first UK newspaper site to record more than 20 miliion unique users.
After two months when it was eclipsed first by Telegraph.co.uk in April and Mail Online in May, Guardian.co.uk recorded 20.5 million unique users in June, ABCe data released today shows.
The figure represented a 41.2 per cent year-on-year increase for the Guardian, and an 11.9 per cent increase on May.
Telegraph.co.uk was second, with 19.7 million unique users. The Telegraph, which unveiled its new website design this week, increased its traffic by 179 per cent year on year.
Telegraph digital editor Ed Roussel credited the Telegraph’s sport coverage during Wimbledon and Euro 2008 and its business coverage of the credit crunch for the growth.
The Mail Online, which had claimed top spot in May dropped sharply, losing 2.7 million unique users from its May headline figure to 16 million. The Mail’s 14.4 per cent month-on-month drop moved Times Online into third place, with 16.3 million unique users.
The Sun Online continued the steady growth it has shown since February, with 15.5 million unique users, up 71.93 per cent year on year and 3.76 per cent month-on-month.
In a distant fifth place, the Independent recorded a 10.44 per cent increase over May, to 7.2 million unique users.
Mirror Group Digital, meanwhile, reached 5.4 million unique users in June.
The Mirror Group figure pools traffic to all of Trinity Mirror‘s national newspaper websites including DailyRecord.co.uk and Mirror.co.uk, which unveiled a redesign yesterday.
No audited year-on-year comparative data is available for the Mirror Group, which only began publishing ABCe figures three months ago. However, the company claims its internal HBX measurement data shows its traffic is up 91 per cent year-on-year, from 2.8 million uniques in June 2007.
However, the company says this figure understates its performance because it compares a de-duplicated Omniture from 2008, with an aggregate gross HBX number from 2007.
The Guardian, Telegraph and Mail site have recently begun attempting to generate revenue from their large overseas user base. All three publishers have recently announced advertising sales deals with US-based partners.
The Mirror, by contrast, has stressed the development of its domestic audience, and boasts the highest proportion of UK users on its network of site. Some 56 per cent , or three million of the unique users are from within the UK.
At the other end of the scale, the Mail Online recorded 68 per cent of its traffic overseas.