Articles about "Online traffic and metrics"

The Atlantic disregards SEO as more traffic comes from social

Lauren Indvik reports that people at The Atlantic's websites have stopped thinking about SEO so they can focus on getting stories to take off on social networks. "Sixteen months ago we received the same number of monthly referrals from search as social. Now 40% of traffic comes from social media,” Scott Havens, senior vice president of finance and digital operations at The Atlantic Media Company, tells her. Now that Google displays relevant results shared by users' friends, social is becoming more important even among people who are searching. "Social media is becoming an engine that drives more than just Facebook and Twitter’s own referrals," wrote Poynter's Jeff Sonderman, declaring, "Say goodbye to SEO."

Here's more on what Havens told Indvik at last weekend's Mashable Connect conference: (more...)

Alexis Madrigal: Photo galleries an ‘invisible poison’ to news sites

“Readers may click through your slideshow, but they’ll hate you a liiitttle bit more than they did when they got to the site. … You can get a page view spike that’s actually a negative for your brand. And the more the slideshow spreads because of a clever headline or just because the topic is hot, the farther that brand damage spreads. Congratulations! You juiced the stats with an invisible poison!”

The Atlantic


News sites increasingly kept in the dark as Google hides incoming search terms

A sizable percentage of inbound search terms are hidden from publishers now that Google encrypts searches by default when users are logged in to and Firefox and Chrome use encrypted search in their toolbars.

When Google announced the change in October, the company predicted that the change would affect less than 10 percent of searchers. Adtrak writes that the figure is much higher:
Figures reiterated quite often on blogs, forums and in tweets suggest that some 20% of their keyword traffic is hidden behind secure search (when a person is signed into their Google account and searching the web).
I checked's analytics: Keywords were hidden in 29 percent of searches in April. That's up from 22.5 percent in November, shortly after the change was made. Now "(not provided)" makes up the largest category of search terms, dwarfing the second place term: Poynter. Overall, 6 percent of inbound traffic now comes from a black box.

Besides Google, Firefox and Chrome now default to secure search in their toolbars. When you combine Google's share of the search market with Firefox and Chrome's share of the browser market, about 26 percent of searches will be encrypted, not including those logged in to Google, according to Practical eCommerce.

Adtrak's take: (more...)

A year after redesign, Gawker has record-high number of unique visitors

Nick Denton | The Next Web
A year after Gawker Media sites were redesigned, January's unique visitor count was a record, according to Nick Denton. Traffic dropped after the redesign, but recovered -- though not soon enough for Denton to win his bet with Rex Sorgatz. The Next Web's Drew Olanoff concludes: "Just when you think something is so radical and can’t work simply because it’s different, remember Gawker’s redesign. It actually worked." || Related: Denton says Gawker redesign was aimed at casual readers, not fanatics (Ad Age)
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Greg Linch: Page views don’t measure impact of accountability journalism

The Linchpen
Greg Linch, a Web producer at The Washington Post, argues on his personal blog for a new way to measure the impact of accountability journalism:
An investigative piece that might be nowhere near as popular in pageviews across a mass audience (yes, sometimes, they can be) is quantitatively measured the same way a celebrity death story is. ... If we value impactful accountability journalism, why are we quantitatively equating it one-to-one to entertainingly impactful news?
A better approach, he writes, would combine page views with other measures of reader interest:
You could factor in all the usual metrics of pageviews, pages per visit and time on site along with others such as comments, social mentions of a story (and by what kind of people) and links. You could track the larger conversation around a story ... You could also account for actions taken by governments, non-profits, community groups, registered voters, parents and others.

Latest numbers indicate New York Times traffic is flat since paywall

BuzzFeed | comScore
BuzzFeed reports that the U.K.'s Daily Mail has passed The New York Times as the largest online newspaper property in the world. A spokeswoman for the Times says this doesn't mean that the Daily Mail is the largest single newspaper site, though, because its figure includes a recently added personal finance site. (I've reached out to comScore for more information.) But the new figures show something else: The Times hasn't lost reach since instituting its paywall on March 28, 2011. The Guardian reported in April 2011 that the Times had 61.96 million unique visitors worldwide in March, which was an increase of 41 percent from the previous month. That means the Times had 44 million unique visitors worldwide in February; in December, that figure was 44.8 million, according to BuzzFeed. (Both outlets cited comScore as the source of their figures.) Eileen Murphy, the Times' vice president for corporate communications, confirmed these figures and said traffic is flat from December 2010 to December 2011. February's 44 million uniques was the lowest in that time period; October's 48.7 million was the highest (not including March's spike, mostly driven by the Japanese tsunami). Those figures don't include or other properties owned by the Times Co. (more...)
13 Comments Dash offers news sites analytics by author, topic

A new Web analytics system launching Tuesday seeks to meet needs unique to content publishers rather than e-commerce or business websites. What sets Dash apart the most is its ability to tabulate pageviews by author, news topic or category, not just individual pages. Judging from a pre-launch preview, Dash is a smart, efficient tool that almost any publisher would welcome. But for a couple reasons, it is probably going to appeal only to the larger news sites out there. (more...)

Google punishes itself for spammy sponsored posts promoting Chrome

Search Engine Land
Google has downgraded the PageRank for its Chrome home page so that it's now buried in search results for the phrase "Web browser" and similar terms. The company decided to punish itself after a site called SEO Book discovered a number of low-value blog posts that praised Chrome, including a video about the browser and links to download it. The links violated Google's guidelines against paid links. Google said it intended to buy video ads, not links. Search Engine Land's Danny Sullivan sizes up what happened: "The bigger issue in all this, as I wrote before, is that the campaign produced a lot of garbage content. That doesn’t mean that Google Chrome gets banned. Rather, it’s just embarrassing to Google, when it has [been] busy trying to prevent this type of content from ranking in its own search engine."

Amid intense competition on the Web, we continue to have high loyalty with nearly 40% of our audience coming directly to [the Washington] Post website. But more than a quarter of all readers are now finding Post content through Search, up from 17% in 2009.

Washington Post Managing Editor Raju Narisetti, sizing up how the website did in 2011


The year in sharing: Facebook dominant, but Twitter & Tumblr are booming

Facebook accounted for more than half of all content-sharing activity in 2011, according to new data from AddThis.

The company’s sharing buttons are embedded on more than 11 million websites, giving it a pretty broad view of how content … Read more