Tag Archives: malcolm coles

How the Guardian and Telegraph overtook the Mail in latest ABCe traffic report

This post originally appeared on Malcolm Coles’ blog at this link.

June 2009 saw the Mail Online unexpectedly overtake both the Guardian and Telegraph in the ABCes with the most monthly unique users partly on the back of US traffic and Michael Jackson stories, a position it held for both July and August.

Fast forward to September and the story is the same as earlier in the year – Guardian 1st, Telegraph 2nd and Mail 3rd. So what changed from June to September? To find out, I’ve compared the ABCe figures for UK and foreign visitors in June and September. The difference between the Guardian’s performance and that of the Telegraph and Mail is revealing.

Analysis: The Guardian has seen significant growth in the UK AND abroad.

Table: September unique visitors (millions) and percentage change since June

Total Change UK Change Overseas Change
Guardian 33m 14% 11.9m 17% 21.1m 12%

The Guardian’s total visitor numbers grew 14 per cent from June to September (up from 29m to 33m). There was a 17 per cent increase in UK visitors and a 12 per cent increase in visitors from abroad. This makes it the most popular online newspaper in the UK by some way (it’s 2.4m ahead of the Mail in second place).

UK visitors accounted for 36 per cent of the total in September (barely changed from 35 per cent in June).

Analysis: Telegraph sees growth overseas

Table: September unique visitors, percentage change since June

Total Change UK Change Overseas Change
Telegraph 31m 14% 9.1m -1% 21.9m 22%

The Telegraph has also seen a 14 per cent increase in total visitors from June (27.2m) to September (31m).

However, the geographical breakdown is revealing – its UK unique visitor numbers are down one per cent from June to August but its overseas visitors are up 22 per cent (from 18m to 21.9m). It’s now the most visited UK newspaper abroad – but only the 3rd most visited inside the UK.

As a result, the proportion of its visitors that comes from the UK has fallen from 34 per cent to 29 per cent – the lowest of any UK newspaper (the Mail held this honour back in June).

The Telegraph saw the biggest increase in overseas visitors of any newspaper – but because its UK traffic fell, the Guardian beat it into 2nd place.

Analaysis: Mail Online records UK growth only

Table: September unique visitors, percentage change since June

Total Change UK Change Overseas Change
Daily Mail
30m 2% 9.5m 15% 20.6m -2%

The Mail’s traffic stood fairly still between June and September – it had 30m visitors last month, up just two per cent on three months ago. But its story is the reverse of the Telegraph’s.

The Mail saw strong UK growth – up 14 per cent to 9.5m visitors in three months. Overseas visitors, however, fell by 2 per cent to 20.6m. As a result, it now gets 32 per cent of its visitors from the UK (up from 28 per cent in June).

And the rest …

As for the others:

  • The Sun is down to 23m visitors in September, an 8 per cent fall over 3 months. A 15 per cent collapse in overseas visitors couldn’t make up for a 3 per cent increase in UK users.
  • The Times is a story of decline – 13 per cent down overall, with a 10 per cent fall in the UK and a 14 per cent fall from overseas.
  • The same is true of the Mirror Group (down 5 per cent overall) and the Independent (down 6 per cent overall) but to a lesser extent.

This table has all the stats. If you can’t see the iframe, you can see the full spreadsheet here.

The Express doesn’t take part in the ABCes. The FT does not participate every month.

Journalism.co.uk ABCes coverage at this link…

#JanMoir: Where have the adverts gone?

Now this is odd: some of the adverts have disappeared from Jan Moir’s infamous-in-one-day Stephen Gately article, originally titled ‘Why there was nothing ‘natural’ about Stephen Gately’s death’. Could it be blogger and SEO consultant Malcolm Coles’ campaign rallying the Twitter troops to bombard the various advertisers on the page, that persuaded the Mail to remove the ads? Journalism.co.uk will seek the answer…

Update: NMA reports that the Mail has indeed pulled the adverts, according to Mail Online MD James Bromley; we still await a response. We should also note, as indicated in the comments below, some other factors contributed to the pressure: urban75, @stephenfry and Newsarse.com, and a Facebook group. Please add any more examples below.

janmoir

Malcolm Coles: Rate of growth slows for newspaper Twitter accounts

This is a cross-post from Malcolm Coles’ website www.malcolmcoles.co.uk.

National UK newspapers had 1,665,202 followers for their Twitter accounts at the start of October – an increase of 193,266 on September 1 (when they had 1,471,936).

The rate of growth has slowed, however. This is a monthly increase of 13.1 per cent, compared with 17 per cent from August 1 to September 1, and also from July 1 to August 1.

What’s more, 151,555 of the increase (or 78 per cent of the total) is down to just one account – that of @guardiantech (which owes its popularity to its place on the Twitter Suggested User List). Indeed, of the 131 accounts I’m tracking, 51 have fewer followers than me!

You can see the full table here, or below.

Malcolm Coles: ‘Cervical cancer jab reports show the newspapers have learned nothing from MMR’

The UK media have learned nothing from the debacle over the MMR vaccine, argues internet and media consultant Malcolm Coles on his blog.

“They are continuing their habit of undermining public-health initiatives with their latest scare story about the safety of the cervical cancer jab, after the tragic death of a schoolgirl who had the vaccine the same day.”

Full post at this link…

Sidewiki: some journalistic questions for Google

Sidewiki (noun): a browser sidebar that enables you to contribute and read helpful information alongside any web page (source: Google.com)

or…

Sidewiki (noun): an attempt by our online colonial masters to own all of the comments on our websites (source: Andrew Keen)

On this occasion Jeff Jarvis would not do what Google is doing: the CUNY journalism professor and WWGD? author is worried. He can see some potential dangers for the development of Sidewiki, launched by Google yesterday. His commenters share their thoughts too, in a split conversation between the BuzzMachine comments thread and the Sidewiki (you’ll have to take the plunge and install it if you want to see how that looks). Jarvis says:

“This goes contrary to Google’s other services – search, advertising, embeddable content and functionality – that help advantage the edge. This is Google trying to be the centre. Quite ungoogley, I’d say.”

Sidewiki has the potential to be great for freedom of speech but what about the nastier side? Publishers no longer have control of the look of part of their site. Google has tested the application at news organisations it says – testimonials here – but it’s still developing its technology, and asking for feedback.

Some initial thoughts, then. The main concerns for journalists and news organisations might include:

1) Will it lose money for news sites?

Andrew Keen, writing for the Telegraph, comments:

“Sidewiki is a brazen attempt to own the Internet. What Sidewiki would do is replace/supplement the Telegraph comments section on this page with a Google comments page. So all comments on the internet would, in theory, be owned by Google (which, presumably, they could sell advertisements around – thereby eating into my salary).”

2) What happens about libel?

Google publishes its programme policy here, at this link.

‘Keep it legal,’ it says (and it will report us to the ‘appropriate authorities’ if we don’t).

“If you believe that someone is violating these policies, use the ‘Report Abuse’ button within Sidewiki.  We’ll review your report and take action if appropriate.  Just because you disagree with certain material or find it to be inappropriate doesn’t mean we’ll remove it.  We understand that our users have many different points of view, and we take this into consideration when reviewing reports of abuse.  Although not all reports will result in removal, we do rely on our users to tell us about materials that may be violating our policies.”

Have fun with that Google!

Here are a few questions about the legal aspect from Jo Wadsworth, online editor at the Brighton Argus, for whom comment moderation is part of her job:

“How long does it takes to get abusive comments removed? Where’s moderation criteria? Can site switch it off? Can trolls be banned?”

Meanwhile, SEO consultant and blogger Malcolm Coles is having a play… This morning, he says, he was finding it hard to resist the temptation to be the first to sidewiki the home page of UK newspapers. But someone else got there first.

Please add your own thoughts and questions. In the Google Sidewiki – to your left, via Twitter (@journalismnews) or in the comments…

Thelondonpaper – what everyone’s saying

A quick round-up of the weekend and Monday morning comment on the fate of the londonpaper:

“thelondonpaper is closing – with a pre-tax loss of £12.9m last financial year on £14.1m turnover. Maybe if they’d sorted out their SEO strategy, they’d have got more website visitors and sold more adverts?”

“Let’s assume, then, that when James Murdoch says he’s concentrating on his ‘core’ responsibilities henceforth, he means no more fishing in Metro ponds. That phase is gone. News International has retired hurt. But what does this mean for London itself, apart from much less waste paper?”

“Free newspapers funded by advertising are a volatile business model in any downturn, let alone a recession. While freesheets are unlikely to disappear altogether, in closing the London Paper the Murdochs have underlined their belief that charging for news is the way forward.”

  • Stephen Glover (the Independent, 24/08/09): ‘A vicious press war with no real victors
  • “[T]he supposedly invincible media mogul has raised the white flag. He is closing thelondonpaper. In my view, of course, he should never have launched it in the first place. It was an expensive distraction that contributed little or nothing to good journalism.”

“News International’s decision to close its only freesheet highlights the newspaper industry’s move towards charging for content in print and online and away from the focus on ‘free’, which gave us the London Lite, Metro, thelondonpaper and City AM, the morning business paper.”

and from last week:

“[The decision] shows just how much the axis of publishing has shifted: just as proprietors are growing weary of readers enjoying their online news for free, there is not nearly the same confidence in the free print model there was three years ago and publishers are reverting to ways of maximising user revenue in all media instead of giving it away for nothing. And, more fundamentally for News International, London’s free newspaper war was just costing too much.”

Journalism Daily: Numbers for journalists, mydigitalnewspaper and a Newsquest redesign

Journalism.co.uk is trialling a new service via the Editors’ Blog: a daily round-up of all the content published on the Journalism.co.uk site.

We hope you’ll find it useful as a quick digest of what’s gone on during the day (similar to our e-newsletter) and to check that you haven’t missed a posting.

We’ll be testing it out for a couple of weeks, so you can subscribe to the feed for the Journalism Daily here.

Let us know what you think – all feedback much appreciated.

News and features:

Tip of the day:

#FollowJourn:

On the Editor’s Blog:

Editor’s Picks:

Malcolm Coles: You can print from the FT, but don’t photocopy it

A weird one this, picked up by Malcolm Coles, who has found (at least) 10 sites whose terms and conditions allow you to print a page from their website, but forbid photocopying them – including the Financial Times and Conde Net.

Answers as to why on the back of a postcard or in the comments below please.

Full story at this link…

Round-up: Charging for online – Murdoch and the FT

Quick link post rounding up some of this weekend’s chatter following Rupert Murdoch’s latest decision that News Corp properties will start charging for access to online news by 2010.

Kevin Anderson on Guardian.co.uk asks what news organisations can learn from the music, video and games industries when it comes to charging for online – especially relevant given the Financial Time’s announcement that it is considering introducing a ‘pay-per-article’ system.

On econsultancy Malcolm Coles address the frequently voiced arguments against Murdoch’s plans (e.g. it won’t work unless all sites start charging) in a mythbusting post.

(Backing up Coles points that people, outside of WSJ and FT readers will pay for content, is Press Gazette’s report that Which? increased online subscriptions by 11 per cent in the year to the end of June.)

How sticky are UK newspaper sites? 62.8 per cent of users look at just one page, says Alexa

This is a cross-post from Malcolm Coles’ personal website, and first appeared here. You can read other posts by Coles on the Journalism.co.uk Editors’ Blog at this link.

Visitors to UK newspaper sites look at an average of 2.5 pages a day, according to data from Alexa [click through from chart below]. But 62.8 per cent of users look at just one page.

In terms of daily page views per user, the Sun (4 pages), Guardian (3.1) and Telegraph (2.9) are above average. Visitors to the Mail site look at just 2.4 pages a day – so while the Mail may have come top in the July ABCe figures, maybe its large number of overseas visitors aren’t staying to look round the site.

Newspaper Daily page views
per user
Bounce
rate (%)
The Sun 4 48.5
Guardian 3.1 59.2
Telegraph 2.9 65.2
Daily Mail 2.4 60.7
Times Online 2.4 59.7
Independent 2.2 70.4
FT.com 1.9 66.8
Mirror 1.7 67.5
Express 1.7 66.7
Average 2.5 62.8
  • Better than average figures are in bold.
  • The bounce rate is the percentage of visits that consisted of just one page (so a low number is good).
  • These figures are 3-month averages. These change on a daily basis at Alexa – so they may have altered slightly by the time you check. Click the papers’ names to see the current data.
  • The overall average at the bottom is a simple average – it has not been weighted by traffic.

Page views vs bounce rate
The table is ranked by daily page views per user. The bounce rate is another measure of stickiness. It doesn’t exactly correlate with page views, as papers may have differing proportions of loyal, engaged users who visit lots of pages. The more pages that these users visit, the better the page view figure – but they won’t affect the bounce rate.

The Telegraph has a worse bounce rate than the sites near it in the table, perhaps because the great success with its Digg tool doesn’t always lead to multi-page visits?

Using Alexa data
There are issues with using Alexa data like this as it underrepresents UK users, who may have differing usage patterns to other visitors. However, as it seems to underrepresent them more or less equally, the rankings should be ok, even if the absolute figures are all out by the same margin.

Oh, and all the papers are doing better than me! Visitors to my own blog look at 1.5 pages a day and I have a 76 per cent bounce rate (which gets a bit worse when I publish things like Tweets people pray their bosses doesn’t see).