In a survey of the most visits to federal government sites, health resources such as NIH.gov and CDC.gov were among the leaders.
Health resources were among
the federal government Websites with the most traffic in September, according
to a new report by digital business analytics firm comScore.
Three of the top 10 federal
government sites were health-related, according to the firm. They were NIH.gov
(National Institutes of Health), CDC.gov
(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Rounding out the top 10
federal government sites were Commerce.gov (Department of Commerce), Ed.gov
(Department of Education), IRS.gov, SSA.gov (Social Security Administration),
NASA.gov, State.gov (Department of State) and USAJobs.gov (Office of Personnel
As the public concerns
itself with disease prevention and looking for health care information, health
sites have grown in traffic, according to John Mangano, comScore vice president
for health marketing solutions.
People turn to government
Websites as credible sources of information on subjects such as health ailments
and pharmaceutical drugs, he said.
Worries about the flu drove
traffic to CDC.gov and Flu.gov, according to comScore, which announced the
results of its study on Nov. 1.
CDC.gov's traffic spiked by
116 percent from August to September due to searches relating to the flu. The
CDC's site also earned the highest share of click-throughs at 17.7 percent
during the month, followed by New York
(3.7 percent) and WebMD Health (3.4 percent).
With 10.6 million visits in
September, NIH.gov was the most-visited federal government site. Its traffic
was comparable with that of consumer health sites MSN Health and Yahoo Health.
NIH.gov increased its traffic by 22 percent from September 2010 to September
"The NIH has always
seen a good degree of traffic, as it is a premier source of a wealth of health
information," Mangano told eWEEK
in an email. "In the past year, they have been receiving a greater amount
of traffic from Google."
Google lists NIH material
before natural search results, Mangano noted. The red icon (or red/blue pill
icons for drug names) mark NIH content.
, a Department
of Health & Human Services site that offers health news and tips, garnered
a 69 percent increase in traffic and 113,000 unique visitors in September 2011.
"We see a good degree
of variability at this site, but the growth appears to be coming from referrals
at USAjobs.gov, a U.S. government job site," Mangano said.
bacteria-contaminated cantaloupe from a source in Colorado drew a large
increase in traffic to health sites, Mangano said. Press reports about problems
with cantaloupe directed the public to USDA.gov and CDC.gov for details, he
"We looked at the
search terms that led to these sites as well, and second only to the actual
names ('USDA' and 'CDC') was 'Listeria outbreak,'" Mangano said. Listeria
is a food-borne illness that has killed 29 people and sickened 139 from the
cantaloupe-related outbreak, according to the CDC.
Other top government health
sites in traffic included HHS.gov
(U.S. Food and Drug Administration) and MedlinePlus.gov
, a National
Library of Medicine site offering information on diseases, conditions and
wellness in easy-to-understand language.
When doctors search for
material online, they're likely to use organic
rather than paid listings, comScore reported in March. Nonpaid
listings appear below the blue or yellow paid listings on Google.