Olympics.com nets gold

Ninemsn.com.au has held the top position for more than two months, according to internet measuring company Hitwise.

The IBM-hosted www.olympics.com site has also become the most dominant Australian Olympic website, capturing 78.78 per cent of all Australian net traffic to Olympic sites for the week ending September 16. Additionally, olympics.com attracted 40.52 per cent of all Australian sporting traffic during the same week, Hitwise said.

Olympics.com captured more than 20 per cent of all traffic to Australian websites on both Saturday and Sunday following the official opening of the Games on Friday night.

By the start of official competition on Saturday morning, with the women's triathlon debuting as an Olympic sport, traffic levels to olympics.com had nearly doubled, Hitwise said. The company recorded a 99 per cent increase in traffic levels to the site on Saturday.

In comparison, ninemsn received close to 13 per cent of traffic websites over the weekend, down from more than 15 per cent during the week.

Globally, olympics.com has also performed strongly, rising from sixth place on Friday to become the third most popular site visited by Australians.

The site is currently sitting behind internet heavyweights Yahoo.com and MSN.com.

"These results show that the internet has clearly established itself as a key source of information and news during the Olympic period, complementing both radio and TV coverage," said Andrew Walsh, CEO of Hitwise.

Other sites caught up in the Olympic mania include www.olympics.com.au -- the joint venture between the official Australian Olympics broadcaster, Channel 7, and the Australian Olympic Committee -- f2's Olympics site, and Ian Thorpe's fan site.

Olympics.com.au recorded a 174 per cent increase in traffic over the weekend. As a result, the site moved from 13th position on Friday to become the third most visited Australian site by local internet users on Sunday, according to Hitwise.

Meanwhile, www.olympics.smh.com.au had a 90 per cent increase, and www.ianthorpe.telstra.com.au recorded a massive 206 per cent increase.

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