ABCE figures for last month show traffic to guardian.co.uk dropped marginally by almost 3%. It has been the most visited UK newspaper site for the past four months.
Mail Online was the second most popular site, attracting 35.9m users, up more than 9% on December’s figures.
ABCE has introduced daily average figures into the multi-platform report after titles such as The Guardian and Mirror called for the industry to focus less on monthly users.
Mail Online enjoyed the highest average daily unique users, 2.2m, followed by The Guardian with 1.9m.
Emily Bell, director of digital content at Guardian News & Media, said it fully supported ABCE’s decision to shift the focus away from the number of monthly unique users to daily figures.
“Although we recorded nearly 36m unique visitors last month and have been in first position on this measure since last September, we’re now a close second on the new headline average daily measure. However, ever-growing daily figures are great news for all of the UK’s newspaper websites.
“Our UK numbers are a fantastic achievement for guardian.co.uk, and our wide range of engaging content ensures our core online audience is growing and returning day after day,” she added.
Telegraph.co.uk, which remained in third position with 32.4m visitors in January, up almost 6%, attracted an average of 1.65m daily users.
Times Online, set to introduce a paywall this spring, saw an almost 8% rise in traffic. It sister title, The Sun, saw 21.4m users visit the site in January, up nearly 2%.
Mirror Group Digital gained the biggest rise in unique visits, up almost 10% to 10.7m.
The Independent, which is in the process of being sold to Evening Standard-owner Lebedev, attracted 9.7m visitors, up 4%.
This story first appeared on newmediaage.co.uk