FTC, NASA Web Sites Lead Latest Nielsen//NetRatings Roundup

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Government Web sites won the popularity contest among Internet surfers during the last week of August, according to a new report by Nielsen//NetRatings, New York.


In the week ended Aug. 31, online users flocked to the Web to access the Federal Trade Commission's national no-call registry, read about Mars as it neared Earth's orbit and gleaned information on national parks.


Week-over-week traffic to the FTC jumped 665 percent to 2.76 million unique visitors in a period that marked the final week for Americans to register phone numbers for the Oct. 1 deadline, NetRatings said. More than 97 percent of the traffic went to the site at www.donotcall.gov.


The site at www.nasa.gov saw a 40 percent increase in traffic to 590,000 unique visitors. Traffic for the prior week was 420,000. The proximity of Earth and Mars' orbits was the reason for the surge.


Taking advantage of the Labor Day weekend, 306,000 Internet users visited the Office of Personnel Management's site at www.usajobs.opm.gov. This was up 38 percent from 221,000 unique visitors in the week ending Aug. 24.


Similarly, traffic to the sites of the Departments of the Interior and Commerce were up 19 percent and 18 percent, respectively, to 670,000 unique visitors and 1.28 million. The sites, www.nps.gov and www.noaa.gov, were popular with campers looking for park and weather information.


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