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Sunday, May 25, 2008 claims top spot in UK

My former colleague at the Telegraph in London, communities editor Shane Richmond, writes a surprisingly restrained blog post noting that the Telegraph overtook the mighty Guardian in the April ABCe audience figures.

This is truly an achievement, given how far behind the Telegraph was lagging just a couple of years ago when we began a change programme to revitalise the website with the help of newsroom staff who were previously tied solely to the group's newspapers.

Shane wrote:

"There's not much in it, so the lead may well change hands several times in the coming months, not only between us and the Guardian but perhaps also between us and the relaunched Mail. However, the field has changed and it will be that way for some time to come.

"'s unique users increased by almost 10 per cent between March and April, and 153 per cent year-on-year, to 18,646,112. The Guardian dropped almost one per cent to 18,546,017 and slightly behind both of us are the Mail on 18,039,943.

"The credit crunch, the US election and the climax of the football season all helped to broaden our audience last month.

"However, the real achievement is to have closed the gap that existed this time last year. In the ABCe figures for April 2007, the Guardian were almost eight million unique users ahead of us, with 15.17 million uniques compared to our 7.35 million, and just over six million uniques ahead of Times Online, who were then in second place with 8.9 million."
On the other hand, here's what the Guardian had to say:
"The web measurement standards for the UK's national newspaper websites are to be reviewed after rival publishers questioned's dramatic recent traffic growth, adding 6.3 million unique users in two months.

"This meteoric unique-user growth culminated in overtaking as the UK's most popular national newspaper website in figures for April released today by the web traffic measurement body ABCe.

"Prompted by concerns raised by rival newspaper groups the Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards, which advises ABCe on its measurement methods, has today agreed to a review of the tools and standards that publishers use to record web traffic."