E-commerce sites neglected as net users follow war news

Internet traffic to news sites remained high as the conflict in Iraq moved into its second week, while visitors to e-commerce...

Internet traffic to news sites remained high as the conflict in Iraq moved into its second week, while visitors to e-commerce sites have slipped.

The MSNBC.com news site posted a message to users yesterday saying that personalised news has been moved to a separate page as a result of high site traffic. ComScore Networks' comScore Media Metrix research division reported that traffic to the MSNBC site swelled 114% on Monday, compared with the average for the four Mondays ending 16 March , totalling almost 4.4 million visitors.

Traffic to Time.com rocketed 228% on Monday, while traffic to Reuters.com jumped 383%.

The BBC's site saw a 41% jump in worldwide traffic on Monday, while global traffic to the International Herald Tribune site shot up 85%, comScore said.

Worldwide traffic to the Al-Jazeera Arab television network site increased 679% Monday, while US traffic to the site jumped 2,230%.

However, all the Al-Jazeera Web sites came under sustained distributed denial of service attacks beginning on Tuesday, however, shortly after the network published photos of US soldiers who had been taken prisoner by Iraqi forces. Al-Jazeera's troubles continued yesterday after a hacker hijacked the network's Web domain and posted a pro-war message.

US traffic to eBay's auction site slipped 3% in the week ending 23 March over the average day in the previous four weeks, while Amazon.com's traffic fell 7%.

Travel sites were even harder hit - US traffic to the Expedia.com site slipped 22% and traffic to Travelocity.com  fell 17% .

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