According to Media Metrix, the average user spent 11.2 hours online both at home and work in June -- up more than three-and-a-half-hours compared to May.
The Web ratings firm also ranked Yahoo.com as the Web's most popular site during the month of June, with more than 32 million unique visitors. Following Yahoo! were AOL.com (with 29 million visitors), MSN.com (22 million), Netscape.com (19 million), and Geocities.com (19 million).
Netscape was the big mover in June, jumping from sixth to fourth and knocking GeoCities from fourth to fifth and Go.com from fifth to sixth. Since that time, GeoCities and Yahoo! have merged. "Netscape's ranking is bolstered in part by default settings on Navigator that users fail to change," said Bridget Leach, Industry Analyst at Giga Information Group. This setting makes Netscape's home page the user's start page, meaning the site is hit every time a new browser window is opened.
The top hit sites have community features in addition to portal capabilities. Jae Kim, Analyst at Paul Kagan Associates, told ZDNN that the real power of portals is that they are "actually aggregating people as well as information."
An example Kim cited was Yahoo!'s acquisition of community-driven Web sites such as GeoCities and 411. He said that Internet users want to communicate with others as well as carry out research.