Monday, February 26, 2007

On Niche Dating Sites, Many More Women

During the week of Feb. 5, men and women visited online dating Web sites in nearly equal numbers, according to Hitwise, which measures online traffic. And to look at the 10 most popular sites not directed toward gay people, you might think that every dating site on the Internet was rigorously gender-balanced. All but one of the 10 largest sites came within 10 percentage points of being evenly split.

But among the smaller dating Web sites, many were drastically skewed. SeniorPeopleMeet, the 41st most popular site, had 80.8 percent women. BBW Datefinder, for “big beautiful women and admirers,” was No. 63, and had 76.3 percent women; and Catholic Match, No. 81, had 72 percent.

“It is a problem for them,” said Bill Tancer, general manager of global research at Hitwise. “It’s like any market; you want an equal number of buyers and sellers.”

But Greg Waldorf, the chief executive of eHarmony, the sixth most popular site and one with 68.6 percent women visitors, begged to differ. “If you asked me would I rather have more women or men, I’d rather have more women. If you have a good healthy population of women, I think men are attracted to that.”


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