The jostling for position between the Mail and the Times in the national newspaper web traffic rankings continued in December, with Mail Online regaining third place, according to ABCe.
In a month where every site except Sun Online lost traffic month on month because of the festive period, the Mail’s web offering was one of the sites to fall the least.
It was down 5.7 per cent on November and up 44.3 per cent year on year, with 19,663,467 unique users.
This figure allowed Mail Online to overtake Times Online and regain the third slot. Times Online, now in fourth, recorded 19,116,658 unique users in December – up 71.1 per cent on the same month in 2007.
Guardian.co.uk remained the most-visited national newspaper website last month, but the gap between it and the second-placed Telegraph.co.uk narrowed.
The Guardian site reported 22,829,024 unique users – up 43.1 per cent year on year. In the same period, Telegraph.co.uk grew by 99.6 per cent to 21,051,959.
The gap between the two sites stood at 1.78 million unique users last month, compared with a 3.1 million gap in November.
Sun Online, the fifth-ranked site, was the only national newspaper website to post a traffic increase over the festive period compared with the previous month.
It rose 15.42 per cent month on month and 81 per cent year on year, with a December monthly unique user figure of 18,961,552.
Independent.co.uk was the biggest year-on-year riser, up 165.9 per cent to 8,752,008.
The Mirror Group of websites, the newest addition to the national newspaper ABCes, had 5,324,463 monthly uniques in December. A year-on-year comparison is not yet available.
UK audience breakdown
Guardian.co.uk – 8,416,168 (36.9%)
Telegraph.co.uk – 6,878,870 (32.7%)
Times Online – 6,768,188 (35.4%)
Sun Online – 6,534,562 (34.5%)
Mail Online – 5,961,607 (30.3%)
The Independent – 3,599,870 (41.1%)
Mirror Group – 2,947,871 (55.4%)