By Maximilian Clarke

Almost half of Europe’s 380 million internet users visit newspaper websites, with the Daily Mail’s site emerging from data made available by comScore as the most popular news site in the continent.

The Mail Online received 20 million unique visits in November 2011, followed by 15 million uniques for Guardian.co.uk. Turkey’s Hurriyet and Germany’s Bild came 3rd and 4th, with 15 and 10 million unique visitors respectively.

An analysis of the sites visited by Europeans prior to visiting the top 5 Newspaper sites shows that Google Sites preceded at least 12 percent of visits to the top 5 Newspaper sites, with a significantly higher percentage seen for the Daily Mail and the Guardian (more than 23 percent of inbound site traffic). At least 10 percent of visits are preceded by a visit to Facebook, second only to Google Sites. (This data includes both direct referrals from Facebook links and visits initiated by direct user navigation following a visit to Facebook.)

Interestingly, the percentage of traffic to these sites preceded by a visit to Facebook has significantly increased in each case, highlighting both Facebook’s growing prominence in the European web landscape and its increasing ability to drive referral traffic. The percentage of inbound site traffic preceded by a Facebook visit was highest at Turkish site Milliyet, where it accounted for nearly a fifth of traffic (18.9 percent). Facebook visitation also preceded a significant percentage of inbound traffic to the Daily Mail and the Guardian, with both sites at approximately 13 percent, while German newspaper site Bild.de saw an even higher share (14.8 percent). Milliyet, the fifth largest European Newspaper site, demonstrated the highest point change in such traffic (9-percentage point increase), followed closely by the Guardian (8-percentage point increase).

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