Forbes Top Ten Online "Meat Markets"

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The Forbes website wrote an article called "The Top Online Meat Markets" which talks a bit about some current online dating statistics and lists the top ten dating sites according to unique visitors in the month of June from a tracking company called Nielsen (more famously known for tracking TV viewers). I wasn't really impressed with the title since they are referring to dating sites as meat markets. The term meat market is not meant as a compliment and it tells me the author is not very interested in the story and doesn't think much of the concept of online dating. He further expresses his point of view in this sentence:

Call it calculating, unromantic and maybe even a bit unnatural ...

For a media company whose authors are suppose to leave their opinions at the door unless the topic calls for it, I wonder how this piece got past the editor's desk.

One interesting point in the article was the mention of dating sites generating 27.5 million unique visitors in June. The problem with this number is I am not sure if this refers to all dating sites found online or just the ones from the top ten list. I also question Nielsen on some of the unique visitor numbers for the dating sites. I checked three other audience tracking websites and all of them lists higher than eHarmony. Nielsen has it reversed and by a large margin. Here is the top ten dating sites according to Forbes (uv = unique visitors):

  1. eHarmony with 4,252,000 uv - Read Review
  2. Yahoo Personals with 4,130,000 uv - Read Review
  3. with 3,379,000 uv - Read Review
  4. True with 3,134,000 uv - Read Review
  5. SinglesNet with 2,615,000 uv - [staticpage: Read Review]
  6. Plenty of Fish with 2,198,000 uv - Read Review
  7. Do U Like with 1,992,000 uv
  8. Spark Networks with 1,223,000 uv - 32 different sites
  9. Mate1 with 1,173,000 uv - Read Review
  10. AOL Personals with 957,000 uv - a dating portal

I also question the article for some of the dating sites listed in the top ten. At number 10 is AOL Personals. I would not call this a dating site. It is more like a dating portal since it really only lists other dating sites like and eHarmony. If you start a search for any singles on AOL Personals, you are automatically redirected from AOL to whatever dating site niche you may have selected in your search. I am not saying this is a bad thing, it just isn't a dating site. I also have to wonder about number 8 on the top ten list, Spark Networks. Spark Networks is a company which owns dating sites, not an actual dating site. To group all of their dating sites into one number is a little misleading especially since Spark Networks owns 32 different dating sites. If the list was about the top ten online dating companies, then I would not have a problem.

To see the complete top ten dating site list and to read the accompanying article, visit the