Nielsen has released its online ratings for November reporting a fall in the rankings for YouTube and significant uplift for online retailers in the lead up to Christmas, with Westfield experiencing the highest increase, up 115% in the past month.

The top 10 website rankings were relatively stable between October and November, apart from a small decline in visitation to YouTube which saw Microsoft leapfrog the video site into fourth place.

Small declines were seen for seven of the top 10 sites due to a smaller active universe in November, the report says. Slightly more men were active during the month, but their activity rates dropped significantly on the previous month to put their usage levels below that of females.

Google and Facebook continue to dominate the top 10, with one in every four minutes that Australians spent on the web in November coming on Facebook.

Top brands in November 2011 

In the media category, NineMSN led in terms of reach, however experienced higher visits per person and time per person.

While in retail, strong uplift in audience and activity has been noted across a number of retailers including Westfield (115% uplift between October and Novemeber), Big W (71%), Target (49%) and JB Hi Fi (39%). Based on previous years, another month on month uplift for online retail sites is expected in December.