Monday, April 09, 2007

Newspaper web site visitors

Editor and Publisher reports on the 30 most popular newspaper web sites. The Enquirer is not among them, and that's interesting. The Enquirer has been claiming 30 million or so page views per month, and its goal is to reach 50 million by the end of the year. That claimed current level of page views would put the Enquirer's web site around No. 10, with ChicagoTribune.com and NYPost.com, but it's not on the list at all. No. 30 is Philly.com, with 21 million page views in February. Other Gannett sites are listed: USAToday.com at No. 2, and AZcentral.com at No. 16. It could be that the Enquirer does not participate in the Nielsen/NetRatings surveys, but if that's the case, what makes the Enquirer's statistics credible?

12 Comments:

Anonymous Mr. Whig said...

Dude, if you don't even mention the big outhouse story today, I'll have to start my own blog to make fun of it. But I don't want to do that.

It's probably the only time in the history of mankind that an outhouse user can read about themselves, and then wipe themselves with the same piece of paper.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous A Concerned Reader said...

Here's something weird that happened on the Enquirer's Politics Extra blog on Monday afternoon.

After Jane Prendergast posted a snarky item about City Council candidate Greg Harris, two posters replied.

The first, an anonymous person, complained about the paper's condescending coverage of non-incumbents and said something like it was indicative of "Carl Weiser's lazy editing."

The second poster, Nate Livingston, kind of proved that point when he noted the short blog item said "Harris for Congress" in the copy, which obviously was an error.

Bingo, the item suddenly disappeared about half an hour later. I am not sure if it's gone for good, but if the Enquirer can criticize others, it shouldn't be afraid of criticism aimed at the paper, too.

4:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Whig beat me to it. Yeah, the outhouse story says it all. The Enquirer can't trouble itself to cover Chiquita's involvement with death squads in Colombia, but they run an in-depth story on the few remaining outhouses in the county, complete with one old guy's instructions on how to make number two.A proud moment for the Enquirer.

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Getting back to the original message of this post...

You raise a very good question. If the Enquirer is really getting that type of traffic and they're not participating, then they are fools. It's more likely that the Enquirer's "numbers" represents the traffic for the Cincinnat.com network...which, just lost WCPO - a significant portion of the overall traffic.

And, given that, how much revenue is the Enquirer going to lose from that move as they will have significantly fewer pages to sell to advertisers?

11:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...that's assuming they even tell advertisers. There's a track record of "oversights" that goes straight up to the publisher.

8:53 AM  
Blogger ThatDeborahGirl said...

I agree with Mr. Whig & anon. You should do a special edition post on the Outhouse story. It's hilarious and very very sad at the same time.

The Enquirer has sunk as far as it can with that one. Next will be a cat in a tree.

10:03 AM  
Blogger Newsache said...

I would only have gotten excited about the outhouse story if it had been on the front page, and at less than 800 words it wasn't that big. A newspaper can't and shouldn't be all serious all the time, so this story doesn't bother me.

My focus will continue to be on the front page, where a newspaper traditionally puts its best stories and most important news, and also on the editorial page, which should be the soul of the newspaper. The Enquirer's best news and best reporting doesn't measure up, and its editorials show a lack of courage and intellect. Other than that, it's a fine newspaper.

11:10 AM  
Anonymous mr. whig said...

OK, well, the joke's on me, I can't even get the paper. Other than that, I'm a fine blog commenter! hahaha

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

E&P's rankings were based on "Unique Audience" not total traffic. It is quite possible Enquirer traffic is around 30 million a month while unique visitors are below 1 million.

1:06 PM  
Blogger Newsache said...

True, but 19 of the 30 web sites listed have fewer than 30 million page views. I guess it's possible that you can get 35 million page views with less than 1 million unique visitors, but how probable is that? And what do advertisers value more -- page views or unique visitors? Why does the Enquirer have a goal of 50 million page views monthly?

Read this and this.

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really disagree with Newsache's statement that other than its Page One and Opinion page the Enquirer is a fine newspaper.

The Life section is incredibly boring, with virtually no decent writing or storytelling, and no surprise pieces that spark interest. Way too formulaic -- probably reflecting its middle-aged, conservative, male editor (though he's a nice guy).

Local News's front is crime heavy, doesn't reflect trends across communities (it's often city-centric), and hasn't been redesigned or freshened in years. It's obvious from the quality of the work displayed there that the Local News reporter talent pool is limited. Isn't anyone covering health or environmental topics? Weather or commuter topics? Seems like all this staff is doing is writing breaking news web updates.

And the Business section is pathetic. Why bother?

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About the previous post - what does being nice have to do with being a good editor?

A good features editor is someone with a broad range of interests, who is curious, gets out to events, is widely read, challenges the staff to be better, has a wicked and finely-honed creative streak, and who does not just pass sections from other newspapers around to the staff or recyle old ideas that were fine in their day but are tired now.

Monthly events calendar? They did that back in the early 90s. The cover column? A reworking of one that was on the Tempo cover and has been in the features section in other forms for decades.

The lifestyle writers barely produce anything of significance, especially when weighed against the output of the A&E staffers. They are coasting.

And features copy is riddled with errors, typos and holes - they even published an entire wrong TV page a few weeks ago - even though the features editors and copy desk have less to edit than 5 to 10 years ago when there were more daily and weekly feature sections - larger sections, even the TV book was bigger - and a gazillion special feature sections every month.

There's no leadership now - just making the bosses happy and being "nice." No wonder it's bland.

1:18 PM  

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