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7m extra surfers log onto World Wide Web in March

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Cyberspace added another seven million home surfers to its ranks in March.

This brought the total number of people logging onto the Net from home to 379 million during the month, with active Net usage growing four per cent from the previous month to 211 million surfers.

South Koreans were the keenest surfers in the 21 countries measured for the Nielson/NetRatings survey. They clocked up an average of 2,164 page views during March, or almost 92 pages during each surfing session.

But South Koreans whizzed through the Net, spending the least amount of time looking at each page, an average of just 28 seconds.

Hong Kong users had 1,123 page views per month, with 63 page views per session, and 37 seconds spent on each page.

The US was seventh in terms of monthly page views, with an average of 678, and 35 page views per session. But American surfers spent the longest on each page (54 seconds).

The UK came in 17th in terms of page views - 479, with 39 views per session and an average of 45 seconds spent on each page.

"South Koreans are the consummate surfers," said Richard Goosey, chief of measurement science and analytics at ACNielson eRatings.com. "They're studying remarkably high numbers of pages during each session over the month, but they're barely pausing on each page."

But the short amount of time spent on each page did not stop South Koreans clicking on adverts - they were beaten on banner ad clicks only by Hong Kong and Spain. The Canadians clicked on online ads the least.

The same report outlined the top sites in March - Yahoo! was king of cyberspace with 111.8 million unique users and 6.4 million page views. Its users spent an average of 57 minutes online.

The portal giant was followed by rivals AOL Time Warner and MSN, which had 92.3 million and 90.4 million users, and 679 million and 2.9 billion page views, respectively. AOL users spent an average of 40 minutes online, while MSN surfers spent 51 minutes.

Surfers spent longest on eBay's site - its 22 million unique users created 1.2 billion page views during the month and spent one and a half hours on the online auction. ®

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