London, 8th September 2005, As the fifth and final Ashes test begins, Hitwise - the leading online competitive intelligence service today reports that cricket has overtaken football as the UK’s favourite sport online.
Searches for ‘cricket’ outstrip those for ‘football’
With underdogs England looking like strong contenders to win the Ashes for the first time in 18 years, it seems that the country has been going cricket crazy in recent weeks. Hitwise Search Intelligence data reveals that for the first time, searches for ‘cricket’ have outstripped searches for ‘football’ and coincides with England’s humiliating World Cup qualifying defeat against Northern Ireland last night.
Search Intelligence data for the past two months shows searches for ‘cricket’ initially overtaking ‘football’ searches during the first Ashes test, in the week ending July 23rd. Though cricket searches subsequently dropped below those for football in the week ending July 30th, England’s increasingly promising performances have since pushed online interest to greater heights. Cricket-related searches peaked at a massive 55% greater than searches for football for the week ending August 13th, during the 3rd Ashes test at Old Trafford which resulted in a draw.
Further increase in traffic to cricket sites as Ashes win looks increasingly likely
In addition to the increase in cricket searches since the beginning of the Ashes, traffic to cricket websites has continued to perform strongly. Over the last week, traffic to the sector has grown by 10%, on top of the already stellar performance of the sector so far this year. Earlier this season, Hitwise revealed that websites in the Sports - Cricket category had seen their highest levels of traffic in over a year during August.
The top cricket site remains CricInfo (www.cricinfo.com), which claims 35% of all cricket traffic and is the second most popular destination for online searches on the term ‘cricket’. The top destination is BBC News (news.bbc.co.uk), with Channel 4 (www.channel4.com), which is televising the Ashes series, in third position.
Volume of searches for ‘football’ vs ‘cricket’, July - September 2005
Traffic to Sports - Cricket category, July - September 2005
Hitwise is the leading online competitive intelligence service. Each day, Hitwise monitors how more than 25 million Internet users interact with over 500,000 websites across 160 industry categories.
By monitoring more people, more websites, more often, Hitwise provides marketers with timely and actionable marketing insights on how their online presence compares to competitive websites. Companies use this information to maximize the return on their online investment, in efforts such as affiliate programs, search marketing, online advertising, content development and lead generation.
Hitwise collects Internet usage information via a combination of ISP data partnerships and opt-in mega panels, and complies with local and international privacy legislation as audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Founded in 1997, Hitwise is a privately held company, headquartered in New York City and operates in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore.
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