1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Website traffic questions

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Batman, Jan 31, 2020.

  1. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    We've had a bit of a thorn in our side from a local guy who started a web site. He chases every ambulance call, his staff writes mostly short, shitty, error-filled stories no one holds them accountable for. And he's a general pest because he also takes cheap potshots at us, the more established media outlet in town.
    It wouldn't be so annoying, though, if he didn't put out there as fact things about his own site that seem way out of whack, and trying to convince advertisers that he's better than us.

    Like today, for example. He wrote a post claiming his site got 3 million hits in January. We're in a small town that has about 50,000 in the city and surrounding county and nowhere near enough interesting stuff happening to generate viral stories on a regular basis. Our news editor was giddy that we were closing in on 500,000 page views for the month. He and our publisher have both told me they pulled the analytics and our web traffic dwarfs his by a factor of 8-1 or 10-1.
    I'm not as well versed in this stuff as I should be, and only have a rough idea of what the different analytical terms actually entail. So I guess I actually have a couple of questions for those of you with better brains for it:

    1) Is this guy full of shit?
    2) I looked up his site on similarweb.com and it either didn't have enough data to rate or hadn't been registered for tracking. But ESPN.com had 6 million "visits" in December and the local major metro (a Gannett paper in a sprawling metro area of maybe 250,000) had just short of 1 million. Ours was around 100,000. Are "visits" the same as "hits?"
    3) Where might this guy be getting his 3 million number from?
    4) Any suggestions on what we can do to call bullshit on his claim while still taking the high road?

    I'll hang up and listen. Thanks.
  2. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    Just be prepared to tell your advertisers (do you have any? not trying to be a jerk but most places aren't selling many ads) that other site is full of beans. Just tell them to be wary.
  3. PaperClip529

    PaperClip529 Active Member

    1) Probably.
    2) No. A reader can be responsible for several hits and several page views during one visit. (What Is The Difference Between A Hit, A Pageview, And A Visitor?)
    3) I’d guess the thin air. There is a scenario where this guy just weighs down all of his stories with tons of photos and files, which would inflate his “hits” numbers, but those numbers still don’t make sense. (Or maybe he is paying for some service that generates clicks?)
    4) I’d do nothing. Readers are going to want quality/accuracy and advertisers are going to eventually want to see three-million hits worth of bang for their buck. I would guess that the problem will take care of itself
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2020
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page