Articles about "Online traffic and metrics"


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The politics of reforming digital audience metrics — don’t underestimate the status quo

Long-time critics of imprecise unique visitor and page view metrics like me have had reason to cheer in recent months.

Both the Financial Times and Economist have started to offer advertisers the alternative of rates based on time spent rather than raw traffic numbers.

Chartbeat corrected a major flaw in existing measures of time spent, then got its system “accredited” by the influential Media Ratings Council. And Chartbeat CEO Tony Haile has been an effective evangelist in interviews and speeches for a more sophisticated way of looking at the attention of digital audiences.

That’s real progress. But plowing through dozens of articles and interviewing a few key sources, I have concluded that it is way early to declare victory and a new day dawning in digital measurement.

Oddly, although we like to think of the digital world as fast-moving and progressive, there is an established status quo for counting digital audiences backed by powerful vested interests who remain mostly happy with the unholy triad of uniques, page views and clickthroughs. Read more

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Star Tribune runs ad bashing transgender kids

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. News Corp buys online real estate business: Move, Inc., owns Realtor.com, Move.com and ListHub. News Corp will “turbo-charge traffic growth” to Move’s properties, and it will “benefit from the high-quality geographic data generated by real estate searches,” CEO Robert Thomson says. (BusinessWire) | Last year Move “reported $600,000 in profit atop $227 million in revenue.” (NYT)
  2. Minneapolis Star Tribune ran an ad bashing transgender kids: The Minnesota Child Protection League ran a full-page ad Sunday in an attempt to influence the Minnesota State High School League, which may “approve a new policy that would allow transgender students to participate in athletics based on their gender identity.” Strib VP Steve Yaeger tells Aaron Rupar: “The ad in question met all the requirements of our ad policy.” (Minneapolis City Pages) | Earlier this year the Strib took some heat for how it reported on a transgender person.
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In defense of ‘vanity’ metrics: why page views are still important

Editor’s note: On Monday, Poynter’s Rick Edmonds argued for new ways to measure digital audiences that would replace the widely used unique visitors and page views. In this post, News Corp’s Raju Narisetti takes a contrary view. Portions of this post appeared previously in a Newspaper Association of America blog.

I remain a big fan of page views per visit (a sign of engagement) and repeat visits (a sign of loyalty) as variations on relatively conventional — and important — metrics that are still critical to both our journalism and the business model that supports our journalism.

Only those who don’t have a successful growing digital advertising revenue stream — along with vendors, media critics and pundits that don’t need to fund newsroom P&Ls — seem to think of page views (the audience articulation of ad impressions) as “vanity” or outmoded metrics.

While it is critical that our industry evolves and adapts, and new ideas around better metrics are a key part of that journey, wishful thinking on new fangled metrics don’t necessarily mean we can simply abandon what works — and I dare say, works OK. Read more

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Time to ditch uniques and page views for engagement in measuring digital audiences

When Nieman Lab’s Josh Benton asked me in December for a New Year’s prediction, I leaned toward the bombastic and led my wish list for 2014 as follows:

Ditch uniques and develop a better metric. Then-Newspaper Association of America president Mark Contreras was right when he made this case four years ago. It still hasn’t happened. One- or two-time visitors are not a business opportunity — they are an accident.

So we are two-and-a-half months into the year, and I am sorry to report that uniques and its evil twin, page views, are still with us — offered as the basic yardstick for digital audience for both individual sites and whole industries.

But I took cheer last week when three separate sources made the case that attention and engagement matter more.

Chartbeat CEO Tony Haile led off with an iconoclastic essay for Time.com titled “What You Think You Know About the Web Is Wrong.”

Chartbeat’s existence and success are themselves indicators of the imperative to get beyond clicks. Read more

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Three simple Google tools journalists can adopt to draw traffic

Google is increasingly emphasizing the ways it can be of service to the media, and the company held a summit in Chicago last week sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists, the Online News Association and Northwestern University’s Knight Lab.

I won’t get into the weeds of how to build Fusion Tables or use the Maps Engine in this recap of the event — see Google’s new Media Tools site for detailed resources. Instead, here are three simple strategies for taking advantage of Google’s products that you can implement right away.

1. Sign up for Google+ Authorship

Google’s Nicholas Whitaker opened a session on Google+ by asking how many of us had a Google+ profile. Most of us raised our hands. Then he asked how many of us actually use our Google+ profiles. Read more

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News organizations can now see how their content performs on Pinterest

The image-sharing network Pinterest released a new analytics tool this week that serves up lots of data about how its users engage with your website’s content.

Here are some of the questions you can now answer pretty easily. Read more

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The metrics we really need from Twitter are not the metrics we have

Twitter co-founder Ev Williams acknowledged Monday that available metrics like follower counts are not great measures of success.

At a panel discussion in New York hosted by BuzzFeed’s Jonah Peretti, Williams said the follower count “doesn’t capture your distribution. … The dream metric is how many people saw your tweet.”

And coming from Williams, that’s not just wishful thinking. He currently sits on the Twitter board of directors and oversees the company’s product strategy. So is Twitter working on a better measurement tool for users, and what would it look like?

We know Twitter has an analytics service that so far is offered only to advertisers. It measures things like the number of retweets, mentions and clicks for each tweet, the number of followers gained and lost over time.

That would be a nice start. Unfortunately, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo just told the Online News Association convention there’s still no timeline for when its analytics might be available to non-advertisers. Read more

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Study: Smaller news websites depend more on social media for traffic than larger sites

In any local market, the dozens or hundreds of available news websites make up a news ecosystem.

In any real-life nature ecosystem — think of the food chain diagram you learned in 5th grade — the many species develop their own roles. They are all different, but also all interdependent.

The same is true for news websites in an ecosystem.

New research published today looks in-depth at those relationships in one sample market (Chicago) by analyzing and mapping the connections between more than 300 websites that make up the core of the ecosystem.

The study, conducted by Northwestern professor Rich Gordon and Syndio Social CEO Zachary Johnson and paid for by The Chicago Community Trust, over a two-week period examined all the links between 301 news websites and obtained analytics data about referral sources for about 100 of those sites.

Below are some of the interesting takeaways.

Social media matters, especially for small sites

Overall, the websites in the Chicago ecosystem got more than 23 percent of all their referrals from social media. Read more

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News websites avoid August doldrums to reach record Web traffic

Fishbowl NY | Forbes | Guardian | Mediaite
August is traditionally thought to be a slow news month, and overall Web traffic has sagged more than 14 percent in Augusts past.

But something about this past month (Olympics? The RNC? Hurricane Isaac?) pushed many big news websites to record-high Web traffic.

Drudge Report: “THANKS FOR MAKING AUGUST ’12 THE SINGLE BIGGEST MONTH IN DRUDGEREPORT’S 17 YEAR HISTORY!,” says the site’s Facebook page, which reports 943 million pageviews last month from around the world.

The Atlantic: “All three of The Atlantic’s digital brands — theatlantic.com, theatlanticwire.com and theatlanticcities.com — posted record-setting numbers in August. Theatlantic.com grabbed 10.8 million unique visitors,” Fishbowl NY reports. Read more

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