Covid-19 Has Altered How, When Americans Go Online

The pandemic has affected just about everything—including the online habits of Americans. Web analytics firm SimilarWeb finds that traffic per month to the top five most-visited websites across 11 categories jumped by 4.4 percent during the first half of 2020 compared with last year.

Surprisingly, even though unemployment in the U.S. rose dramatically in the spring, top career websites like Indeed, Monster, and Careerbuilder didn’t see any big increases in traffic, but that trend has reversed in recent weeks as the enhanced federal unemployment payment of $600 per week has now ended. In addition, employers are now visiting career websites more, indicating companies are beginning to hire again.

Also, at the beginning of the pandemic, traffic to the top five hotel booking websites saw a severe decline as demand for travel dried up. Traffic to websites for brick-and-mortar department stores also slowed, but the largest e-commerce retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Target saw great influxes of web traffic. Also, researchers note that traffic from desktop computers has far surpassed traffic from mobile devices as people are spending more time at home, in front of their computers—a huge change from 2019. (UPI