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February put a stop to web traffic surges for UK titles after a promising start to the year, as some outlets saw drops in monthly traffic of over 20 per cent, according to the latest figures released today by the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC).

The number of unique monthly visitors to Mirror Group National websites went down from 83.65 million in January to 66.7 last month, a drop of 20.27 per cent, while at Metro traffic dropped from just over 27 million to 21.6 million (20.1 per cent) in the same period.

Traffic drops are common in February due to the month being 10 per cent shorter than average, although last year Metro saw a 20 per cent increase in the same period.

Metro was also the only outlet to see a year-on-year drop in daily average browsers, from 1.31 million in February 2014 to last month's 1.13 million visitors (a fall of 14.22 per cent).

While also feeling the February chill, Mail Online managed to stay above the 200 million monthly visitors mark it hit last month.

It recorded a drop in traffic from almost 225 million monthly uniques in January to 219 million this month (2.46 per cent), the smallest fall in the number of people who visit the site each month of all outlets featured in the ABC report.

Mail Online is also the best faring outlet in terms of daily visitors, with a 5.4 per cent increase from 13.9 million in January to 14.7 million last month.

The Express, the Telegraph and the Independent's monthly traffic figures all fell by around 10 per cent in February, while the Star saw a drop of 9 per cent.

However, the Express and the Star, both owned by Northern and Shell, saw significant year-on-year increases in terms of average daily browsers.

The number of average daily visitors to the Express last month is up by just over 90 per cent compared to February 2014, while the Star saw a 82 per cent rise in the same period.

Elsewhere, the Guardian was the one other outlet aside from Mail Online to grow the number of daily visitors, by 4.9 per cent to 7.34 million, although its monthly web traffic also dropped by 3 per cent.

Additional reporting by Jack Shepherd.

Update: This article has been updated to clarify that traffic decreases in February are a common occurrence.

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