Web traffic figures provided by the ABC for January mark a change of emphasis for the industry with prioritisation of daily browser averages over the previous system which instead focused on monthly totals of unique users.
The new system takes each day's total traffic, combines it to form a monthly total which is then divided by the number of days in the month - unlike the old system this approach doesn't disregard those people that use a particular site more than once a month.
ABC has also dropped the term "user" in favour of "browser" to reflect views gathered across a range of days and devices.
Under the old monthly system, Guardian.co.uk remained the most popular website with 35,878,640 unique users; however it dropped to second place when a daily average of 1,931,826 browsers was considered.
Using the new measure marked a 20.6 per cent year-on-year traffic increase for Guardian.co.uk. Mail Online recorded a traffic boost of 56.83 per cent on January, 2009.
Telegraph.co.uk remained the third most popular national newspaper website last month. It recorded a daily average of 1,652,783 browsers, a year-on-year climb of 25.24 per cent.
Sun Online drew an average of 1,263,809 daily browsers last month, a drop of 2.88 per cent year-on-year, while stablemate Times Online had a daily average of 1,143,708, a drop of 6.70 per cent year-on-year.
Mirror Group Digital had a daily average of 491,752 browsers in January. This was a 60.56 per cent increase over the same month last year.
The website of the Independent drew 432,127 daily browsers on average last month, a drop of 5.06 per cent year-on-year.
Oliver Luft writes for Press Gazette