Nielsen’s Top Online Video Destinations & Web Brands Of 2011

Nielsen’s Top Online Video Destinations & Web Brands Of 2011

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A lot changed in 2011. Of course… a lot stayed the same too. Nielsen’s year end numbers chart everything from the top web brands to the top social networks and the top online video destinations. And looking over the lists, there’s an awful lot of familiar names.

For us here at ReelSEO, it’s once again reassuring to see that the things we care most about (video marketing and video SEO) are still going to be important for a long time to come. And Google remains the most visited US brand website, suggesting search is as popular a content discovery method as ever.

Nielsen Top US Web Brands In 2011

Google is the king of all US brand websites, pulling in 153 million unique visitors per month. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Facebook comes in second, averaging 137 million uniques each month. Here’s the rest of the list:

  1. Google
  2. Facebook
  3. Yahoo
  4. Bing/MSN/WindowsLive
  5. YouTube
  6. Microsoft
  7. AOL Media Network
  8. Wikipedia
  9. Apple
  10. Ask Search Network

YouTube is the only video site on the list, and Facebook is the only social network–both clearly still have massive leads over any competitors.

Nielsen Top Social Networks In US For 2011

For some reason Nielsen decided to lump social networks and blogging platforms into the same category. And in that category, the big surprise is: MySpace is still beating Google Plus. Just kidding–that’s not a surprise… Google Plus is only 6 months old. But it’s only three slots behind MySpace, and has half the traffic already. (Who are these people still using MySpace, and why do I never meet them?)

Meanwhile, Facebook is so far out in front of everyone else that it’s not even funny, with more than four times the monthly unique visitors of Blogger.

  1. Facebook
  2. Blogger
  3. Twitter
  4. WordPress
  5. MySpace
  6. LinkedIn
  7. Tumblr
  8. Google+
  9. Yahoo Pulse
  10. Six Apart TypePad

Nielsen Top Online Video Destinations In US For 2011

Of course, what most of us care about is video, but I’m afraid you’ll find even fewer surprises there. YouTube is the king, with over 111 million uniques per month. VEVO is in second with 34 million uniques–which we should add to YouTube’s total anyway since VEVO is powered by YouTube.

You can see Hulu down the list in 7th position, with Netflix bringing up the rear. Nielsen’s numbers show Hulu grabbing almost twice as much traffic as Netflix, but that alone doesn’t mean their battle is over–we recently reported on how Netflix users spend twice as much time actually watching viewers.

And in the College Humor headquarters today, there were probably balloons and cake. They’re the 8th most popular video destination online–not bad for a site that didn’t even deal with much video when it first launched and got popular.

Here’s the complete list:

  1. YouTube
  2. VEVO
  3. Facebook
  4. Yahoo
  5. MSN/Bing
  6. AOL Media Network
  7. Hulu
  8. CollegeHumor
  9. CNN Digital
  10. Netflix


Honestly, these are lists most of us could have put together without any research. We already knew Google was the king of search, Facebook was the king of social, and YouTube was the king of video. Now we just have some newer numbers to back that up.

Speaking of the numbers… probably a good idea to take these with a grain of salt, as I tend to recommend with any online metrics firm’s data–they all use proprietary means of gathering and extrapolating data and numbers from various firms often differ wildly. Also, Nielsen’s own data shows 106,692,000 million unique visitors for YouTube per month on the chart for web brands… while on the chart for video destinations it lists YouTube’s monthly average as 111,152,000. Not sure why they have two different totals for YouTube. I’m sure there’s a reason, but Facebook has the same totals on the two top ten lists it’s featured on. Weird.

It’s pretty clear that video is still a very popular content format, and that’s probably only going to keep increasing. And with Facebook and Google still so far out in front of everyone else, it’s obvious that social and search are still the keys to getting your video to the right audience.

Anyway… what do you see in these numbers? Anything stand out to you as something that might signal a trend? Just more of the same?


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