As consumers prepared for back-to-school season, education and reference sites saw traffic increases, as did retailers such as Staples.com (7 mln visitors and a 32% increase versus July 2006), Office Depot (6.7 mln visitors and an 18% increase), and OfficeMax (3.2 mln visitors and a 46% increase), which represented three of the top four sites in the Consumer Goods category in August 2006. Sites providing resources for school-aged children and their parents also saw increases as evidenced by the 48% surge in traffic at AOL Research & Learn (4.7 mln visitors), the 36% increase to Greatschools.net (3.4 mln visitors), and the 26% increase to Coca-Cola-sponsored Family Education Network (2.5 mln).
Notable increases at sites dedicated to college students and graduates included Allschools.com Network, which increased 66% to 386,000 visitors; Collegegrad.com, which increased 61% to 412,000 visitors; and Finaid.org, which increased 55% to 400,000 visitors. Test prep companies College Board Property and Princeton Review.com saw sharp increases versus July, rising 22% (to 1.9 mln visitors) and 28% (to 910,000 visitors), respectively. Additionally, Classmates.com, the site dedicated to connecting high school and college classmates, increased 23% to 17.2 mln visitors in August 2006.