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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

New Year Special Features '99

  • Most Japanese Internet Users Only Glance at Web Pages
  • January 5, 1999 (TOKYO) -- More than 60 percent of Web pages accessed by Japanese Internet users are viewed for less than 20 seconds, according to early results of a survey on the browsing habits of Internet users.
    The survey, still running, is being conducted by Nikkei Market Access, a subscriber IT data provider service, using a test group of Internet users as monitors.

    To carry out the survey, each of the users has had dedicated software installed in his or her PC, and that software is keeping a tab on their habits when browsing the Internet. The survey is being run over a three-month period (November 1998 to January 1999). The first findings come from data gathered during November 1998.

    The results show that when browsing the Web, more than 60 percent of the pages that users access are viewed for less than 20 seconds, and 21 percent are viewed for less than 5 seconds. Nikkei Market Access reasons that this is because users often spend time jumping around, via links, to get to the pages they really want to see.

    Yahoo (yahoo.co.jp) was found to be the number one site accessed by most of the monitors in November -- 37.5 percent of them visited it at least once during the month. That compares with a corresponding figure of 15.7 percent for Microsoft Network (msn.com), the second most commonly accessed site.

    Comparing users who access the Internet from home with those who access it from their work place, BIGLOBE (biglobe.ne.jp) and Nifty Serve (nifty.ne.jp) ranked second and fourth for home users, respectively, and were ranked in sixth and eighth place for work place users.

    For work place users the top spots were filled by Yahoo (yahoo.co.jp), Microsoft Network (msn.com), Impress (impress.co.jp), Microsoft (microsoft.com) and NTT (ntt.co.jp).

    Comparing the habits of male and female users, both sexes shared a common tendency to frequently visit sites run by Internet service providers.

    However, for men the most popular sites were found to be BIGLOBE (biglobe.ne.jp) and Nifty Serve (nifty.ne.jp), while for women they were Infoweb (infoweb.ne.jp) and So-net (so-net.ne.jp). Sites featuring prizes and presents were also found to be popular with female users.

    In terms of the length of time spent viewing sites, both the number two and number six sites for home users were pornographic sites. What becomes apparent from the results is that home users mainly visit sites related to their hobbies and personal interests, while work place users access those sites that help them with their work.

    *How the survey was conducted

    The survey is being run from November 1998 to January 1999, inclusive, with approximately 220 Internet users serving as monitors. The results detailed in this article were collated from data gathered during the first month (November 1998).

    The monitors were carefully selected, from among all those who applied to take part by registering at Nikkei Market Access home page, so as to present a representative sample of Internet users in Japan.

    The software for the survey, "InfoGather," developed by NTT Software Laboratories, was installed in the PCs of these monitors. The InfoGather software then automatically made a record of all the different Web pages the users visited, along with the time spent viewing them. These access logs were then stored and collated with a server prepared by NTT Advanced Technology Corp.

    The aim of the current survey is to establish standards for similar future surveys. In order to solicit opinions, a detailed report on the survey is available and can be downloaded at the Nikkei Market Access Web site (in Japanese only).

    (Nikkei Market Access)

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    Updated: Mon Jan 4 15:35:18 1999 PDT