ABCe: Sun overtakes Times as second-largest newspaper website

The Sun Online overtook News International stablemate Times Online as Britain’s second-largest national newspaper web site in May, according to ABCe figures released today.

The Sun Online was up 9.31 per cent month-on-month to record just over nine million unique users in May. Times Online, meanwhile, dipped 1.97 per cent month-on-month to 8.73 million unique users. Times Online peaked at 10.89 million unique users in January, the last full month before its relaunch in early February.

Guardian Unlimited remains Britain’s leading newspaper web site, with more than 16 million unique users. In the month that saw it redesign its front page, Guardian Unlimited recorded a 20 per cent year-on-year increase in unique users and a 5.88 per cent jump over April.

According to ts own advertising material, the Guardian claims that 35 per cent (5,657,390) of its users in May were in the UK, and that UK users accounted for 44 per cent of its page impressions. lost 1.59 per cent month-on-month, with 7.3 million users in May,

ABCe figures are based on so-called server-centric data, based on audits of publications’ own server logs. They do not differentiate between UK and overseas internet users. Only Guardian Unlimited,, Times Online and The Sun Online release their ABCe figures each month as part of their monthly ABC group product report.

Data provided by internet market research firm Nielsen/Netratings, which uses a different methodology, suggests that the has also overtaken Times Online as the third-largest site among UK users.

According to Nielsen/Netratings, had 1.75 million unique users in the UK in May, against 1.62 at Times Online. The firm placed the Guardian at 2.7 million UK users and the Sun at 1.97 million.

Nielsen/Netratings figures are based on ‘user-centric’method, meaning that they are bbased on a panel of UK users. Its figures are generally lower than those provided by ABCe’s server-centric approach. Nielsen/Netratings argues that server-centric methods overstate unique users, page views and time spent on a site.

The firm’s data also provoves some idea of the relative ranking of those sites that are not currently publishing their ABCe audits.

Nielsen/Netratings’ figures suggests had 1.21 million unique users in May, followed by the Independent online edition (696,000 users), (587,000), (335,000), (181,000) and (105,000).

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