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Google's new tool for measuring traffic to Internet sites, Google Trends, presents a very different picture of the popularity of Israeli Web sites from that of the commonly-used TIM survey. The most significant difference is at the top: Ynet is the most popular portal in Israel, not including Google. For now, Google is not giving its own numbers.

Ynet has about 800,000 unique visitors a day, and Walla! is second with around 700,000. These numbers are all approximations, because Google Trends does not provide exact figures.

In the sports arena there are also differences between the numbers from Google and TIM. According to Google, ONE has 140,000 users a day compared with the 90,000 of Sport 5 - the reverse of TIM's figures. Ynet also beats out Maariv's nrg by 600%. Tapuz is on the way down.

TheMarker is the leading business site in Israel with 110,000 daily visitors. Globes has 90,000 and Bizportal is far behind in third with about 40,000.

The TIM survey only examines 20 major sites, but Google Trends for Web sites covers many more - and gives some interesting results. One is Panet - an Arabic site which has about 170,000 users a day, similar to the number of Israelis who visit Facebook. However, it seems a large number of the visitors are not from Israel, but from neighboring Arab countries such as Egypt.

Al Arab is another Arabic site with a lot of traffic: 45,000 people a day. Both Arabic sites are linked with newspapers: Panet with Panorama and Al Arab with Kul Al Arab - and both do not appear in the TIM survey at all, which excludes the Arabic sites.

Another highly viewed site is a commercial one: Bank Hapoalim in 10th place with 140,000 unique visitors a day checking balances and banking. Bank Leumi has 90,000 visitors.

Orange leads the cellular operators' sites with 40,000, compared with 30,000 for Cellcom. Pelephone hosts only 20,000.

Advertisers are setting up an official and accurate measuring process for Israeli Web sites. However, the new Google tools is not expected to make this superfluous, as advertisers will be getting more than just the plain number of users every day. The new data will provide demographic segmentation of the various users for each site, which Google cannot provide.