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Home > Internet users behaviour > 02/20/2008   

Website frequentation: a promising start of the year 2008…

The slowdown of website activity observed since 2006 continues in the 4th quarter of 2007, with nonetheless a month of December more dynamic than in 2006. Trend that one finds, moreover, during the first month of the year 2008…
Perimeter:
  • Study conducted from October 2000 to January 2008
  • Perimeter of 229,907 websites
The growth slowdown of Website visits still keeps a check on itself in the 4th quarter of 2007, with, nevertheless, a dynamic in December

The table below presents the frequentation evolution rates of Websites for each fourth quarter (October – December) of the years 2001 to 2007.

In a fixed perimeter in number of sites, one observes a growth slowdown of website frequentation in the 4th quarters of 2006 and 2007 after three very dynamic end-of-years from 2003 to 2005.

The evolution of website visits, after having oscillated between +17.1% and +27.1% over October – December 2003, 2004 and 2005, is “only” +7.7% in the fourth quarter of 2006, and +6.3% in the fourth quarter of 2007:

frequentation-200802-1.png


Nonetheless, this continuation of the slowdown is not noted during the last month of 2007 because the evolution of website visits in December 2007 is more than two times greater to that of December 2006 (all in remaining lower to the months of December 2003, 2004 and 2005):

  • Evolution between December 2005 and December 2006: +4.4%

  • Evolution between December 2006 and December 2007: +10.1%


frequentation-200802-2.png


Let’s now interest ourselves in the seasonality of the year 2007 in its totality.

The website frequentation analysis allowed us to observe the existence of a visit seasonality, with key moments over the course of the year like the summer dip or the January revival. Thanks to non-parametric methods of deseasonalization, we have been able to extract these monthly, seasonal effects.

The graph below presents the monthly seasonal effects recorded in 2007, compared to the average monthly seasonal effects recorded from 2002 to 2006.

Thus, one observes a particular seasonality over 2007 with a very marked peak for the month of May that is over 4 times greater to the average seasonal effect of the months of May 2002 to 2006 (+17.9% vs. +4%).

This study being conducted on a perimeter of predominantly francophone websites, we can suppose here that this very strong peak is explained by the massive crowds generated on the websites by the French presidential elections 2007.

frequentation-200802-3.png


A month of January 2008 under the sign of dynamism

The graph below presents, this time, the seasonal effects of the months of January 2002 to 2008.

Fine performance of January 2008 whose seasonal effect is a third higher that the average of the peaks observed the months of January 2002 to 2007. It corresponds to, in fact, a peak of +12%, whereas the average of seasonal effects of the months of January 2002 to 2007 is +9.2%.

frequentation-200802-4.png


At the same time as a high seasonal peak during January 2008, the trend still being upwards, the evolution of frequentation for the month of January 2008 vs. January 2007 is directly impacted. Like the trend observed in December 2007, the evolution rate recorded between January 2007 and January 2008 reaches nearly two times that recorded between January 2006 and January 2007:

  • Evolution between January 2006 and January 2007: +5%

  • Evolution between January 2007 and January 2008: +9.3%, which meets the previsions of our November 2007 study where we announced a rise of 8.2%.


frequentation-200802-5.png


Finally, the graph below presents the evolution of the Website frequentation index for the visits recorded from January 2001 to January 2008.

In a fixed perimeter in number of websites, one thus observes, for 100 visits recorded in January 2001, 259 visits in January 2008: visits multiplied by more than 2.5 in 7 years.

And above all, it is interesting to note the direct impact of the evolutions of the months of December 2007 and January 2008: the overall growth trend is back on track.

frequentation-200802-6.png


The growth slowdown of website frequentation observed since 2006 is confirmed in the fourth quarter of 2007.

However, in spite of being inferior to prosperous years, the evolutions recorded in December 2007 and January 2008 are higher than a year earlier. Is this the sign of the end of this slowdown, or simply a limited relaunch period?

Rendezvous in the coming months on XiTi Monitor in order to follow the evolution of the website frequentation.


These analyses are available by business sector: if you wish to compare the performances of your website to your competitive universe, do not hesitate to go the «contact us» category for your personalized study request.


Methodology:

The indicator used for this study, measuring the number of visits recorded by a comparable basis of websites, reveals the evolution of the activity of Internet sites.

In the absence of official data on the number and the composition of existing Internet sites, it is in fact not possible to present an indicator reflecting the evolution of the total Web consumption of the Internet users.

In this study, the series which we were interested in is the frequentation of Internet sites. It regards the evolution of audience generated by a fixed number of websites. The series of data successively integrates the daily evolution rate, calculated on a comparable basis over the totality of the websites audited by XiTi. Thus, the evolution of this indicator does not reflect the evolution of the XiTi perimeter, but the arrivals and departures of websites in the latter are integrated into the calculation of our indicator.

The audience recorded on the websites of the XiTi perimeter made it possible to detect very early the existence of seasonal effects, that treatment methods make it possible to extract.

Tools adapted* to the treatment of chronological series allowed us to proceed with the decomposition of this monthly series. The components are:

- The series trend that represents the long-term evolution of the series.

- The seasonal composition representing the fluctuations that are infra annual, monthly, and in our case, those that repeat themselves more-or-less regularly from year to year. It highlights the phases of growth and recession.

A moving average allows a smoothing of the monthly audience; it corresponds to an estimation of the overall trend. The moving trend necessitates, in the time t, the measurements of the series in the time t, but also measurements around t.

In our study, a moving average on 13 terms, symmetric centered on t, is adapted in order to measure the annual trend of a series of monthly data. For the measurement of the moving average at one month m, the measurements of the month m, months m-1 to m-6, and months m+1 to m+6 are necessary. This is what explains the obligation of proceeding with an estimate of this moving average at the period end. Thus, for example, concerning the month of January 2008, when the months from February to July 2008 will be over, the moving average calculated replacing the current estimate, can bring about a slight correction of the seasonal effect.

The annual trend when the data required for the calculation of the moving average is incomplete is an estimation by successive linear regressions, under the hypothesis of quasi-stability of the evolution of the annual trend for the short-term.

*Non-parametric method of deseasonalization.

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