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Feb 23 11

UK’s top web brands revealed

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The UK’s top 50 web brands have been revealed and the results show Digital Britain is increasingly turning online to shop, network or find information.

While web giants including Google, MSN, Yahoo! and Microsoft remained atop the web brand’s charted top ten, BBC News reports that surprise entries indicate Blighty’s web users are increasingly turning to social networks in droves, and have begun choosing the web outlets of high-street shopping staples over online brands – marking a radical shift in Britain’s digital landscape.

New entrants to the top 50 web brands included information sites wikianswers, about.com and ehow. Ten social media sites ranked in 2010′s list – Facebook being the UK’s third most-popular web brand and Twitter the 38th – compared to just one, Friends Reunited, in 2004.

A UK Online Measurement (the firm behind the listings) spokesman told BBC News the rise of information sites evidenced the growth of ‘trust’ in ‘anonymous authority’ online, which may also have fuelled the popularity of social networking.

“The web has always made it easier for people to feed their fundamental desire to socialise, but the critical element of trust in social online environments has now become mainstream,” the spokesman said.

And while Google’s Connected Kingdom report showed Blighty’s click-happy shoppers had helped Britain’s online economy generate a cool £100 billion a year, the web brand listings indicated shoppers are turning from dotcoms to “offline” brands – with high-street giants Argos and John Lewis now featuring among the top 50 web favourites.
“Brands set up purely for the web have disappeared and it is ‘back-to-the-future’ offline brands that are doing well in 2011,” the UK Online Measurement spokesman added.
Media companies such as the BBC, Sky and The Telegraph also made the top 50, which is perhaps a little less surprising given that analyst comScore earlier revealed that content consumption across multi-channel digital platforms seemed to explode in 2010 as smart phone adoption levels soared.

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