ABCe: Telegraph claims top web traffic spot from Guardian

Telegraph.co.uk ended Guardian.co.uk’s long reign as the most widely-read national newspaper website in April, newly-released ABCe figures reveal.

Telegraph.co.uk continued its recent traffic surge, posting a second consecutive record month with 18.6 million unique users, a 9.45 per cent month-on-month increase and a 153.37 per cent year-on-year surge.

The Guardian, which has led the online readership table since ABCe records began in 2001, was a whisker behind, with 18.54 million unique users after slipping just under 1 per cent month-on-month.

The Telegraph gained a third of its traffic from domestic unique users. UK unique users reached a total of 6.3 million per month, a figure the group said represented a 123 per cent rise over the same month in 2007. UK page views doubled year-on-year to 76.9 million, the group said.

However, much of the Telegraph’s growth came from overseas, where it had 12.3 million unique users, a 12 per cent month-on-month increase, compared with a 4.67 per cent month-on-month increase in domestic users to 6.3 million.

Telegraph Media Group digital editor Edward Roussel credited the site’s coverage of global news stories including the credit crunch and the US election, and said coverage of the climax of the UK football season has also boosted our audience.

“Our strategy of combining text with video is delivering excellent results,” he said in a press release issued by TMG.

The Telegraph also overtook the Mail Online, which had surged to second place over the past 18 months and had been expected to claim the top spot at some point this year.

News that the Telegraph has achieved to spot in the UK web rankings comes after nearly two years in which editor Will Lewis has aggresively ramped up its online operation.

In September 2006, the Telegraph titles moved from Canary Wharf to Victoria as Lewis announced the creation a fully integrated print and online newsroom. In recent months Telegraph Media Group has largely merged the editorial teams of the Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph and Telegraph.co.uk.

Mail Online, which this month launched a redesign following a period of public beta-testing, grew 139 per cent year-on-year to just over 18 million unique users.

In today’s interim results, DMGT revealed that Mail Online had trebled its revenues to £4 million in the six months through March compared with the same period last year.

Seventy per cent of the the Mail’s traffic comes from overseas readers, more than any other national newspaper website. Speaking before the House of Lords communications committee this week, the Daily Mail and General Trust chairman, Viscount Rothermere, revealed that the group has a arrangement with the Washignton Post to sell online advertising in the United States.

Rothermere told the committee he agreed with Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, who had said that the Guardian’s future is as as global newspaper.

While competition is growing increasingly fierce among the three top titles, the News International sites have been slipping behind.

Times Online slipped 4.21 per cent month-on-month to 15.4 million unique users. This figure represented 73 per cent growth over the same month last year. The Sun Online, meanwhile remained the fifth-largest site with with just over 14 million unique users, a 2 per cent increase over March and 71 per cent more than last April.

The Mirror Group, posting just its second ABCe report, declined 2.87 per cent to 4.28 million unique users.

However, this decline was accounted for primarily by overseas readers, which declined by nearly 9 per cent while UK unique users increased slightly. The Mirror Group, which has stressed that its aim is to increase its domestic user base, has the highest proportion of UK readers, with 59.44 per cent.

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