D100 Revisited
Research Intelligence

Digital 100 Revisited: An Analysis of How the Way We Search Has Changed

by Ilana Marks , Marketing Insights Manager, Similarweb 3 Min.
August 4, 2020 | Updated October 11, 2022

The first half of 2020 was like no other in modern history. Physical lockdowns, food supply shortages, and a shift towards working from home are just a few examples of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on millions of people worldwide.

In this blog post, we revisited the Digital 100 list of most visited sites across key industries in the United States and look at how some of the best-in-class brands are paving the way as industry leaders, and whether their competitors are gaining or losing market share throughout this unpredictable time.

To that end, we have put together a year-to-date (YTD) comparison between this year (as of June 30) and the previous year, examining the changes in average monthly unique visitors, traffic share, bounce rates, conversion metrics, and more. Our analysis aims to highlight why agility and business flexibility are so important in the new normal.

Why Is This Report Important?

Similarweb’s list of top websites is a compilation of the best-performing sites from across the internet. By analyzing and understanding these stellar websites’ performance, you can learn how to improve your online presence and increase consumer awareness of your digital brand. Highlighted below are three examples of brands that have benefited from the shifts in consumer behavior due to COVID and have also increased market share.

1) The Job Search Market Continues to Consolidate

Job board websites are a market segment that has seen a stark change in visits in the last six months. The category as a whole is down 14.6% on the year, with Monster losing the most traffic (-34.8%). Indeed – the most significant player in the space – still enjoys a market share of 51.5% (slightly up from 50.4% in 2019). Yet, its average monthly traffic has declined by 12.7%, which is still better than CareerBuilder (-16.3%) and Glassdoor (-16.0%), but worse than ZipRecruiter (-8.5%) and Neuvoo (3.8%). Glassdoor and ZipRecruiter have also held on to the second and third spots, respectively, with 22.1% and 14.7% market shares.

Neuvoo seems to have been the least affected by the surge in U.S. unemployment claims, and its relatively low bounce rate indicates visitors who are arriving at the job site are more likely to find what they’re looking for.

The 18-24 and 25-34 age groups made up the majority of visits to the category, collectively accounting for 52% (up from 49% in 2019), which suggests that other age groups have been less affected by the situation.

2) Marketplaces MUVs Is on the Rise Despite a 300% Decrease in Paid Traffic

While Etsy has the lowest volume of average monthly unique visitors (MUVs) compared to other top sites, it saw higher growth year-to-date (YTD) than each specific site, and the Marketplace category as a whole, at 22.9%. In comparison, Amazon decreased by 5.1%, and Walmart and eBay increased by a mere 2.2% and 4.2%, respectively. AliExpress is still a smaller player in the U.S., yet its 13.8% growth suggests shoppers are turning to the Chinese eCommerce giant amid supply shortages.

In terms of purchase conversions, Amazon was not only the number one transactional site in MUVs, but also had the highest conversion rate YTD at 8.4%. This means it also had a higher share of visitors actually turning into customers. Conversions are relatively high across the set: eBay (5.6%) and Target (5.0%) trail Amazon but are followed by Walmart (4.8%) and Etsy (4.6%).

Looking at these sites’ most searched paid non-branded keywords in the last six months reveals increased competition over a long-tail of products with prime video (0.39%), nintendo switch (0.16%), ring fit adventure (0.10%), and hand sanitizer (0.08%) leading the scoreboard.

From January to December 2019, there were 284.3M paid searches; Amazon’s market share was over 70%, and Walmart’s was 10%. From January to June 2020, that number shrank four times to 84.48M, and Amazon’s market share dropped significantly.

3) Banks Are Doubling Up on Brand Awareness and Partners

Despite (or maybe because of) the pandemic, the online banking category remained unchanged in the first half of 2020. The biggest banking sites continue to hold on to the spots they held in December 2019: Chase remains on top with 37.5M average monthly unique visitors, followed by Capital One (30.8M), Bank of America (28.3M), Wells Fargo (27.0M), and Citi (17.0M). Though some of these brands have lost traffic, and some have gained, their market share is relatively even. TD, a smaller player with average traffic of 2.6M, is the only banking provider to see double-digit YTD growth in MUVs at +27.1%.

TD’s massive traffic growth is attributed to three main user acquisition channels: direct, organic search, and referrals. When compared to H2 2019, organic search skyrocketed by 57% (from 4.7M to 7.3M), and direct traffic increased by 7.1% (from 19.8M visits to 21.2M), which is indicative of the brand’s top-of-mind consumer consciousness. Referral traffic grew even more: in the second half of 2019, TD had 1.2M visits from referrals and in Q1 2020, that number jumped to 1.9M (an increase of 66%).


Download the full report to see what else has changed in the digital landscape.

This blog was written in collaboration with Daniel Schneider, Content Marketing Manager at Similarweb.

This post is subject to Similarweb legal notices and disclaimers.

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