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BBC most popular online news service for US surfers

LONDON - BBC News and The Guardian were the only two UK sites appearing in the top 500 news sites visited by US web surfers during March.

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BBC News appeared to benefit from a surge of interest from Americans looking for foreign views on the conflict in Iraq. It was the 59th most visited website in the US overall, and the most popular UK news site, beating Fox News and The Washington Post.

The findings were made by Hitwise, the Australian online intelligence company, which has just launched in the US.

The company will now be monitoring the internet usage of 10m US web users, meaning it now collects data on the web habits of more than 25m web surfers across the world, in Australia, New Zealand, Asia Pacific and the UK, as well as the US.

Simon Chamberlain, general manager of Hitwise UK, said: "With more and more companies outside the US using the internet to cost effectively market to US internet users and identify new opportunities, Hitwise is essential as it is the only source of timely and complete competitive intelligence data on the world's largest online marketplace."

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