Guardian remains the UK’s most popular newspaper site remains the UK’s most popular newspaper website, with 31.7m unique users during October, according to the latest ABCE rankings.

Guardian online

Traffic to The Guardian’s site dropped nearly 4% month on month but still topped the rankings for the second month running.

The Mail Online, which was at the heart of a media storm last month because of Jan Moir’s column on the death of Stephen Gately, continued to hold onto second position. The site attracted 30.4m unique users last month, up over 1%.

The Telegraph, which announced today it will set up a new digital unit ( 26 November 2009) was the third most popular newspaper site, with 30m, down more than 3%.

Mirror Group Digital, publisher of sites including and, enjoyed the most growth in users with an increase of nearly 14% to 10.1m.

News International’s Times Online, set to put up a pay wall from spring, saw user figures rise by almost 13% to 20.87m. Its sister title The Sun attracted 20.83m users, a drop of over 9%.

The also saw a growth in people visiting its site, with uniques reaching 9.7m, up over 10%.

Emily Bell, director of digital content at Guardian News and Media, said breaking the 30m barrier for the second consecutive month was a great achievement.

“At the same time we can celebrate another milestone, with a record-breaking 13,290,715 UK users, the biggest UK audience in the online newspaper market. Our Trafigura story and Charlie Brooker’s column on Jan Moir a few days later highlighted the way stories can grow and propagate through Twitter and Facebook, with steady streams of traffic being driven by these social media channels. then provided the perfect space for readers to add their comments and opinions,” she added.

James Bromley, MD of Mail Online, said being the second most popular newspaper was a “a key achievement and testiment to the ongoing focus we place on great engaging content, every day.”

Last month The Guardian jumped in unique users to leapfrog the Mail Online to become the most popular online newspaper with a 24% surge in visitors (nma 22 October 2009).

ABCE revealed to nma this week that it will add daily online newspaper audience data to its monthly certificate early next year. It followed pressure from publishers in a move that could spark a fundamental shift in how publishers validate their online operations (nma 26 November 2009).

From February, the web traffic-measuring firm will release the global daily online figures for publishers such as Times Online and Mail Online on the last Thursday of every month.

The figures will sit beside monthly unique users and daily average figures in the multi-platform report. Publishers will have the opportunity to separate their UK unique user figures from the international figure.

This story first appeared on

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