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News Sites See Surge In Internet Traffic Following Virginia Tech Tragedy

Facebook, CNN's Exchange, and online news sources saw huge surges, including some triple-digit percentage increases, according to Hitwise.
Internet traffic early this week has reflected the world's eagerness for information about the what has been called the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history.

Facebook, CNN's Exchange, and online news sources saw huge surges, including some triple-digit percentage increases, according to Hitwise, which analyzes Internet search and site visit patterns.

Hitwise reported that Virginia Tech's Facebook Web site experienced a 555% increase in visitors on Monday, compared to Sunday's traffic. Compared to the previous Monday, traffic was up 407%, according to figures Hitwise released Wednesday.

Online traffic to news and media sites rose 16% Monday compared to Sunday's traffic and 27% compared to the previous Monday, according to the report. CNN's Exchange, which features reader contributions, increased by an astounding 2,063% from Sunday to Monday. Traffic to CNN.com's main site increased by 59%.

Television Web sites had the largest gain, with ABC News leading the pack among major networks with a 245% increase in traffic since Sunday. MSNBC.com experienced a 161% rise in traffic, while Fox News' traffic grew by 64%, in that same 24 hours.

Yahoo News, which is mainly a content aggregator, had the largest percentage increase while it also ranked as the top visited news and media Web site among those Hitwise tracks. It received 8.69% of the visits recorded in the category and traffic increased by 62% over Monday.

AOL News traffic rose 37% percent from Sunday to Monday, while Google News rose 6%. The New York Times suffered a 2% drop in traffic, while Yahoo Weather experienced a 32% drop, even as many parts of the East Coast flooded from the weekend's storm.

Editor's Choice
Brian T. Horowitz, Contributing Reporter
Samuel Greengard, Contributing Reporter
Nathan Eddy, Freelance Writer
Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing