UK Online Porn Ban: Web Traffic Analysis of Britain’s Porn Affair

July 27, 2013 5:56 pm Published by

Earlier this week, the UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron announced that online pornography will be blocked by default in the UK. This means that every household in Britain connected to the internet will be obliged to declare whether they want to maintain access to online pornography.

Using SimilarWeb’s data I wanted to dig deeper into the subject to find out three things: firstly, how much of the UK’s web traffic is affected by the ‘corroding influence’ of pornography; secondly, see how the UK compares to other countries when it comes to adult content; and finally, understand what’s the demand for online pornography in the UK.

Porn Traffic is Bigger than all Social Networks Combined

We analyzed the UK’s web traffic in June and broke it down by category, finding that an astonishing 8.50% of the UK’s web traffic in June 2013 took place in adult sites. To put this in context, traffic across all social networks combined accounted for 7.30% of the UK’s web traffic in June and Shopping for 6.06%.

I already knew heard that porn was big on the web, but not bigger than Facebook!

Only two categories surpass porn in terms of traffic volume – Search Engines and Arts & Entertainment (thanks to YouTube) which accounted for 15.65% and 9.59% of the UK’s web traffic in June.

Traffic_by_Category

SimilarWeb Study, July 2013

 

UK porn consumption above Worldwide average but Germans take the crown

The Worldwide average share of adult traffic is 7.65%, nearly a point below UK (8.50%). Interestingly, Ireland also consumes less adult content than the UK and it’s slightly below the global average with 7.45% share of adult traffic. Stereotypes are bad but Germans take the crown when it comes to porn consumption – 12.47% of their traffic takes place on adult sites.

Share_by_Country

SimilarWeb Study, July 2013

 

Searching For Porn

The fact is that most of the time people don’t just stumble upon adult content. When analyzing Google UK’s outgoing traffic over the past 3 months, we see that 8.19% of searches led to Adult websites. What’s more, using SimilarWeb PRO I looked into the Top 20 sites receiving traffic from Google UK (list below) and 5 out this Top 20 sites are adult. Pornhub.com is the biggest gainer and even makes it to the Top 10 – 1.16% of Google UK outgoing traffic ended up in Pornhub. That is a lot of traffic. To put it in perspective, the Top 5 Adult sites combined receive nearly as many visits from Google UK as bbc.co.uk does.

google

SimilarWeb Study, July 2013

Food For Thought

Porn is a big part of the internet. Not just in the UK but around the globe. Filtering porn sites is not an easy job (that’s why we spent 4 years perfecting the best Adult Detection Technology at SimilarWeb!) yet it ultimately comes down to what people search for and what they want to see. The quick and easy access to pornography is indeed a phenomenon that the internet accelerated, but we live in a multi-device society and when there’s a will there’s a way. When people started setting up wifi networks in their homes, neighbours often “borrowed” their internet connection – soon, the favorite neighbor on the block might be the one that ‘opts in’.

Shocked? Questions? Thoughts? Tweet me at @MrBuchuk and follow us to get the latest SimilarWeb news here.

 

Daniel Buchuk

Head of Brand & Strategy for SimilarWeb. Obsessed with web measurement, the internet, pop music and great TV. Wannabe cool-hunter.
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Comments

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  4. Manu says:

    You’re measuring the traffic flow regardless (or maybe yes) that one minute of video on a porn site is equivalent to many hours of browsing other web pages.

    I think the more relevant statistic would be the time at each web site, not the number of pages served and the traffic flow.

    Regards, Manu

  5. Amazing data collection ¡WOW!

  6. Fernando says:

    Nice post, very interesting, but too bad I cannot get that data with my similarweb pro account :(

    1. Daniel Buchuk says:

      Hi Fernando – at the moment the insights on SimilarWeb PRO are for sites and subdomains but in the future you’ll be able to get overall traffic insights by category. This is a bespoke piece of research we did to look deeper into the subject of adult web traffic in the UK.

  7. Rick says:

    I am pleased to hear someone is doing analytical research on this denegation of the female anatomy. I have been involved in researching one site on this deplorable misuse of the internet for 8 months now. It troubled me deeply to see a young woman enticed by a so-called photographer methodically and deceitfully have this young girl go from fully clothed still photo’s to manipulating her into disrobing and then forcefully ravaging and raping this young girl for no less than 30 minutes while another individual shot the scene. It was pure unadulterated torture from the lowest form of man. I know her as “annangelxxx.com.” I believe she has been so traumatized by this sick pimp, that she has now been in the pornography business for the better part of 14+ years and still under the spell of this Romanian native named Radu Catalin perhaps operating out of the Ukraine where I believe that he has over the years developed into a very sophisticated and elaborate network of criminal conspirators that extends to all 7 continents. He and his pimp group have hacked into my computers on dozens of occasions to prevent me from obtaining and gathering information on there hosting supporter’s like “godaddy.com” and hundred’s of others. They have packaged IP’s so as to preclude anyone from attempting to get a location on there whereabouts. Countless domains and servers. And they use annangel cam site as a forum for scamming innocent victims out of tens of thousands of dollars and personal possessions. They know where I reside and I have a pretty good idea that they think by being in the Ukraine they are untouchable. I am on a crusade to shut them all down and hopefully have them imprisoned. This slave trafficking in women to be displayed in front of perverted men who are heartless and insensitive to the displaying of women against their will is despicable and cruel. Enough said. Hope I live long enough to write my book about this. Get your heads out of the gutter men.

  8. [...] C’est l’une des plus importantes campagnes à viser les utilisateurs de sites pornographiques en Europe. Pas étonnant que les Allemands en soient la cible : ils sont les champions du monde des amateurs de sites classés X. La pornographie représente près de 12,5 % du trafic Internet en Allemagne [contre 7,34 % en France], d’après le cabinet israélien d’analyse de données SimilarWeb. [...]

  9. [...] gracias a sus 935.000 páginas web. Dato que contrasta con otro análisis publicado recientemente enSimilarWeb y que indica que España es el 2º país más consumidor de pornografía a nivel [...]

  10. [...] a sus 935.000 páginas web. Dato que contrasta con otro análisis publicado recientemente en SimilarWeb y que indica que España es el 2º país más consumidor de pornografía a nivel [...]