Mail Online became the most visited UK national newspaper website in May, beating Telegraph.co.uk and Guardian.co.uk into second and third place.
The Associated Newspapers website received 18,712,533 unique visitors last month – up from 18,039,943 in April, a 3.7 per cent rise – while Telegraph.co.uk, the top website in April’s figures, slid 0.79 per cent month on month to 18,497,944.
Guardian.co.uk, which until April had been the UK’s top newspaper online since ABCe audits began in 2001, saw a 1.2 per cent drop in unique users last month to 18,323,824.
Press Gazette understands that Guardian.co.uk production staff were issued with guidelines on how to boost stories’ traffic with search engine optimisation tips when last month’s figures were released.
Times Online received 15,887,693 unique users in May, a 3.06 per cent rise on last month while The Sun’s website had 14,948,080, a 6.25 per cent increase.
Independent.co.uk had 6,533,792 monthly uniques according to ABCe, while Mirror Group, which includes Mirror.co.uk as well as Trinity Mirror Scottish titles, received 4,829,899 visitors.
Guardian.co.uk might have been knocked into third place in the headline figures, but it has a higher proportion of UK-based users than its rivals, according to ABCe: 7,664,856, or 41.8 per cent of its total audience.
MailOnline had 5,090,981 UK users, 27.2 per cent of its total audience, and Telegraph.co.uk received 6,077,012 home-based users, 32.8 per cent of its audience.
Mike Moore, general manager (digital) at Telegraph Media Group, said: ‘After the tremendous growth in the last couple of months we have now consolidated the size of both our UK and global audience.
‘Our digital strategy has paid off and the continued strong coverage of stories such as the soaring oil prices and the US election means readers are returning to the Telegraph for their news through online and our newspapers.”