Source: http://gizmodo.com/5844135/does-50-million-users-and-a-1269-traffic-increase-mean-google-%252B-is-now-relevant

Does 50 Million Users And a 1269% Traffic Increase Mean Google + Is Now Relevant? Google + went public last week and its growth has been explosive. So explosive, it has some people wondering if it’s time to take closer look at the social network.

According to Experian Hitwise, traffic to Google+ climbed to 15 million this week, a 1269 percent growth from the 1.1 million visits the week before. And this figure only includes desktop visits, it doesn’t count mobile traffic from Android and iOS devices or people who visit by clicking on the black Google + toolbar.

Traffic is only one metric. Subscriber base is also important and a recent estimate from Paul Allen suggests Google + is adding two million new users each day and now has a subscriber base of almost 50 million users.

Admittedly, these numbers pale in comparison to Facebook, which has 800 million users and is the undeniable King of the Social networking hill. But you have to wonder about the up and coming Google +. Is it time to steal away from Facebook and Twitter and invest some social networking time into Google’s growing network? I’m starting to think it is. [ReadWriteWeb and Paul Allen]


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Source: http://blog.compete.com/2011/09/08/forget-anchovies-hold-the-ppc-seo-management-helps-pizza-company-deliver-to-its-bottom-line/

After traveling through Europe on vacation the past couple of weeks, nothing said I was home more than grabbing a slice of New York pizza!

Deciding to do a blog post on the topic, I wanted to find out who the “big cheeses” were in the pizza world and see if I could find some insight into their web strategies.

Using the Keyword Destination tool on Compete.com to get a list of sites referred to by a broad match for the generic keyword “pizza”, I quickly found that Pizzahut.com and Dominos.com were the hands-down winners.  Approximately 16% of all “pizza” related search referrals went to Pizzahut.com and 5.8% went to Dominos.com.

Both Pizzahut and Dominos showed strong consumer brand recognition, as seen by looking at branded vs. non-branded search referral data collected by Compete:

With similar patterns in historical UV traffic, these two brands were ripe for comparison:

You would think that two strongly similar brands would show similar ad spend profiles, but I was surprised to see that visitors referred to Pizzahut.com via a search engine were 1.8X more likely to have reached the site through a paid search link as visitors to Dominos.com.

What’s the difference?

Using Compete.com again to analyze keyword search referrals to the two brands provided a bit more insight:

For the sake of brevity I am just including a few keywords, but the general trend was the same.  Pizzahut seems to struggle to rank for organic traffic for long-tail phrases, even those containing their brand name. Paid search helps augment low SERP placement by artificially ranking Pizzahut ahead of the couponing sites vying for this sort of referral.

The Bottom Line:

While there are certainly more “slices to the pie” that this brief analysis can’t cover, the bottom line is that there is a constant struggle going on behind the scenes between large brands and third party sites looking to ride on their coattails through coupon offerings, referral links, and product reviews.  If you find your manager questioning the value of SEO, consider that the average CPC for a “pizza” broad-match term was $0.63 (source: google adwords keyword estimator), and in Q2-2011 approximately 5 million search referrals were sent to both Pizzahut.com and Dominos.com. Strong SEO efforts can translate into significant savings through reduced ad spend on paid search!


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Source: http://blog.compete.com/2011/08/05/online-flower-traffic-blooms-for-mothers-day/

Photo Credit: muffet, flickr.

Online flower marketers experienced another great Mother’s Day season.   Traffic to these sites grew by a healthy 7% from May 2010 to May 2011. 

The online flower business is a great example of how small, mom and pop businesses might have been given new life thanks to the web.  A flower shop in a drab storefront can be re-energized thanks to sites such as Teleflora.

As you can see, the sites are hugely dependent on the Valentine’s and Mother’s Day holidays.  Outside of that, traffic is respectable but significantly lower.

One of the more fascinating trends to look at over this past Mother’s Day holiday is the range of cross-shopping that went on across online flower marketing sites.

FTD.com, which has the most loyal followings and largest volumes in the competitive set, saw it’s customer cross-shopping rate double this year.  Meanwhile, sites such as Proflowers, BloomsToday and 1-800 Flowers saw an improvement in customer loyalty during the Mother’s Day flower buying season.

You have to wonder just how much more these sites can continue to grow in their current form.  The seasonality issue is challenging.  Right now, the sites are all focused on delivering fresh-cut flowers and other gifts to celebrate a special occasion.

As a recent homebuyer, I would not mind seeing more attention paid to outdoor plants and trees.  The products are subtly marketed on sites, but the marketing is not prominently displayed.  Imagine being able to log onto 1800flowers.com and create a “gift registry” of plants and trees that you wanted for a housewarming gift.  Friends could log on and arrange to have them delivered the same day as a housewarming celebration.

What about ordering vegetable plants for mom’s garden during the upcoming summer as a Mother’s Day gift?  The opportunities are endless out there to either increase the average order value and to shift consumer mindset from holidays and birthdays to other life events / purposes.

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Source: http://blog.compete.com/2011/06/30/summer-cinema-smash-or-site-traffic-stinker/

movie theatre marquee

36 years ago, Stephen Spielberg released Jaws during a traditionally quiet time of the year for the box office. It took in seven million dollars that opening weekend, and became the highest grossing film of all time until Star Wars debuted two years later. What followed was a new era of Hollywood, a period in which the summer quarter would account for 40 percent of the entire year’s box office earnings.

It also began the era of extreme (read: shameless) Hollywood marketing. On May 6, 2011 Thor was released, grossing 65 million dollars in its first weekend, and going on to earn more than 430 million dollars worldwide. We’re now deep into the summer blockbuster season.

So it got me wondering: are major studios using their mega movies to drive traffic to their websites?

uvs to major movie studios

Over the last two years, it looks like they’ve rarely gotten more than a million unique visitors in a month, with one glaring exception: Warner Brothers, which consistently gets over 2 million UVs a month. Half-Blood Prince was the second highest grossing film of 2009 behind movie mammoth Avatar, and Sherlock Holmes was at number 8. Because these films were driving WB’s traffic up so much, why weren’t other studios benefiting from their movies’ hype? Avatar is the highest grossing film of all time, but it did nothing for Fox’s UVs in December 2009. I realized that unlike WB, other studios don’t host their movies on subdomains—they set up new sites specifically for each movie.

So how do these sites stack up? Here are five of the six top grossing movies domestically this year. Each has a significant spike in daily reach right around their release date.

daily reach for summer movie sites

After just a few days, though, the sites become almost obsolete. Even The Hangover Part II, WB’s subdomain, falls to almost nothing. So then what is it keeping Warner Bros. at the top of the internet game? If it’s not blockbusters bringing in hundreds of millions, what is it?

uvs to warner brothers sites

Ellen DeGeneres’ show seems to drive about half of Warner Bros’ traffic.

I guess daytime TV is a blockbuster, too.

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Source: http://blog.compete.com/2011/06/30/summer-cinema-smash-or-site-traffic-stinker/

movie theatre marquee

36 years ago, Stephen Spielberg released Jaws during a traditionally quiet time of the year for the box office. It took in seven million dollars that opening weekend, and became the highest grossing film of all time until Star Wars debuted two years later. What followed was a new era of Hollywood, a period in which the summer quarter would account for 40 percent of the entire year’s box office earnings.

It also began the era of extreme (read: shameless) Hollywood marketing. On May 6, 2011 Thor was released, grossing 65 million dollars in its first weekend, and going on to earn more than 430 million dollars worldwide. We’re now deep into the summer blockbuster season.

So it got me wondering: are major studios using their mega movies to drive traffic to their websites?

uvs to major movie studios

Over the last two years, it looks like they’ve rarely gotten more than a million unique visitors in a month, with one glaring exception: Warner Brothers, which consistently gets over 2 million UVs a month. Half-Blood Prince was the second highest grossing film of 2009 behind movie mammoth Avatar, and Sherlock Holmes was at number 8. Because these films were driving WB’s traffic up so much, why weren’t other studios benefiting from their movies’ hype? Avatar is the highest grossing film of all time, but it did nothing for Fox’s UVs in December 2009. I realized that unlike WB, other studios don’t host their movies on subdomains—they set up new sites specifically for each movie.

So how do these sites stack up? Here are five of the six top grossing movies domestically this year. Each has a significant spike in daily reach right around their release date.

daily reach for summer movie sites

After just a few days, though, the sites become almost obsolete. Even The Hangover Part II, WB’s subdomain, falls to almost nothing. So then what is it keeping Warner Bros. at the top of the internet game? If it’s not blockbusters bringing in hundreds of millions, what is it?

uvs to warner brothers sites

Ellen DeGeneres’ show seems to drive about half of Warner Bros’ traffic.

I guess daytime TV is a blockbuster, too.

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Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-ipad-traffic-2011-6

It’s been more than a year since Apple’s iPad started shipping, and around the world, it’s still overwhelmingly the only tablet that matters.

ComScore just released a bunch of stats about traffic consumption on non-PC devices in 13 countries, including tablets, smartphones, and other devices, such as the iPod touch.

We analyzed comScore’s data to focus just on tablet usage, and charted the iPad’s traffic share in each country. It was 95% or higher in 12 of the 13 countries, with Android the second-place finisher in most countries (and “other” in Canada, home of RIM).

Of note: China isn’t one of the countries reported by comScore in this data. That could be a market where Android does particularly well. We’ll see. And, of course, plenty more competition is on the way from the likes of HP, Microsoft, etc. But for now, the iPad stands alone.

iPad traffic by country, comScore

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Source: http://blog.compete.com/2011/05/24/compete-releases-ranking-of-top-50-websites-for-april-2011/

NYTimes.com Declined in First Full Month With Paywall; Daily Deal Sites Continue to Thrive

BOSTON, MA–(Marketwire) - Compete, a Kantar Media company, today released its ranking of the top 50 websites for April 2011. Notable changes during the month included NYTimes.com, which saw unique visitors (UVs) decline during its first full month behind a paywall. Elsewhere on the list, daily deal sites thrived and video site Ustream.tv climbed more than 200 spots.

NYTimes.com Drops
NYTimes.com dropped 20.4 percent in April — a 24.9 percent decline from one year earlier; traffic decreased across nearly all of NYTimes.com’s subdomains. But NYTimes.com sports blogs were interesting exceptions in April: bats.blogs.nytimes.com (baseball), offthedribble.blogs.nytimes.com (basketball) and fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com (football) increased traffic during the month, with month-over-month growth of 57.8 percent, 142.4 percent and 44.5 percent respectively. Readers, it seems, do not part as easily with their sports content.

Daily Deal Duel
As the race intensifies in the daily deals space, Groupon still leads the way with nearly 24 million UVs, increasing 5.4 percent M-O-M and 655.8 percent Y-O-Y. While LivingSocial.com only boasts half as many UVs at this point (roughly 11.5 million), its rate of growth for the month, 32.7 percent, was six-times greater than Groupon’s, and its Y-O-Y growth rate stands at 418.4 percent. It is catching up quickly.

One to Watch: Ustream.tv
In April, traffic to video site Ustream.tv grew 46.6 percent for the month (92.3 percent for the year). This helped the site shoot up more than 200 spots in Compete’s rankings, likely a result of the growing popularity of video sharing sites.

Top Ten Order Unchanged
The order of top ten sites remained unchanged in April and no site had a monthly traffic increase. While YouTube.com, ranked #4, stayed steady with no change, the other nine sites experienced drops in UVs during April.

Information regarding top 250 websites is drawn from the Compete PRO Enterprise edition on Compete.com. For more information on the enterprise offering, please contact Lauren Streisfeld at lstreisfeld@compete.com.

Rank Site Unique Visitors Monthly Change Yearly Change
1 google.com 150,132,536 -0.29% -0.34%
2 facebook.com 137,917,539 -2.00% 13.33%
3 yahoo.com 137,281,886 -0.11% 2.02%
4 youtube.com 123,404,304 0.00% 22.42%
5 bing.com 86,836,886 -3.51% 48.43%
6 wikipedia.org 81,157,591 -2.31% 6.01%
7 amazon.com 74,978,780 -1.29% 12.71%
8 msn.com 73,799,209 -2.74% 8.95%
9 live.com 72,369,485 -4.69% 4.21%
10 ebay.com 67,372,294 -1.65% -10.04%
11 blogspot.com 65,940,748 -5.50% 12.10%
12 microsoft.com 62,162,835 -0.94% 9.19%
13 craigslist.org 57,500,250 -1.86% -5.52%
14 ask.com 54,508,628 -3.14% -10.72%
15 go.com 49,504,372 -8.20% 17.32%
16 about.com 47,709,562 -4.30% 3.88%
17 aol.com 46,906,652 -6.07% 2.32%
18 walmart.com 46,349,561 5.44% 14.15%
19 ehow.com 45,960,705 -7.74% 60.20%
20 answers.com 42,276,025 -10.87% 38.03%
21 mapquest.com 36,700,156 -0.60% -9.61%
22 target.com 36,178,431 1.79% 24.64%
23 weather.com 33,728,429 10.51% 11.58%
24 wordpress.com 33,459,473 -2.92% 1.92%
25 netflix.com 33,129,869 -1.74% 52.15%
26 myspace.com 32,876,686 -16.55% -53.60%
27 paypal.com 31,870,573 2.97% 11.06%
28 apple.com 31,103,237 -11.00% 10.79%
29 adobe.com 31,079,363 -14.31% 3.17%
30 twitter.com 27,504,233 -11.33% -0.75%
31 chase.com 26,432,079 1.00% 5.86%
32 att.com 25,744,344 -9.11% 12.12%
33 bankofamerica.com 25,671,467 0.79% 4.82%
34 imdb.com 23,787,667 -9.47% -2.86%
35 groupon.com 23,768,883 5.40% 655.82%
36 cnn.com 23,341,250 -15.81% -13.93%
37 flickr.com 21,514,439 -1.85% -13.68%
38 photobucket.com 20,523,415 -4.93% -23.97%
39 comcast.net 20,077,436 11.53% 57.38%
40 bestbuy.com 19,690,984 -6.36% -1.66%
41 yellowpages.com 19,683,713 5.93% 40.39%
42 irs.gov 19,682,366 -2.12% -4.02%
43 jcpenney.com 19,452,462 5.67% 33.94%
44 sears.com 19,348,832 11.41% 25.28%
45 homedepot.com 19,244,361 12.20% 3.58%
46 verizonwireless.com 18,440,068 -7.54% 11.74%
47 cnet.com 18,405,154 -5.23% -13.40%
48 comcast.com 18,362,992 -5.35% 60.51%
49 wellsfargo.com 17,984,172 4.04% 26.90%
50 lowes.com 17,949,686 13.16% 19.84%

About Compete
Compete, a Kantar Media company, helps the world’s top brands improve their marketing based on the online behavior of millions of consumers. Leading advertisers, agencies and publishers rely on Compete’s products and services to create engaging online experiences and highly profitable advertising campaigns. Compete’s online panel — the largest in the industry — makes the web as ingrained in marketing as it is in people’s lives. Compete is located in Boston, MA, with offices throughout the U.S. For more information, please visit http://www.compete.com/.

About Kantar Media
Established in more than 50 countries, Kantar Media helps clients master the world’s multimedia momentum through analysis of print, radio, TV, internet, cinema, mobile, social media, and outdoor worldwide. Kantar Media offers a full range of media insights and audience measurement services through its global business sectors — Intelligence, Audiences, TGI and Custom. Kantar Media companies also include Compete, Cymfony and SRDS. Drawing upon the deepest expertise in the industry, Kantar Media tracks more than 3 million brands and delivers insight to more than 22,000 customers worldwide. www.KantarMediaNA.com/.

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Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-aol-google-yahoo-facebook-market-cap-per-unique-visitor-2011-5

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong likes to remind people that AOL sites are the fifth most trafficked in the United States. Only Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and Microsoft sites beat AOL’s 118 million unique visitors in March. Google, in first, had 176 million.

Armstrong also likes to point out how AOL, with a $2 billion market cap, is entirely dwarfed by the other four companies in that group. Yahoo is worth $25 billion, Facebook, $60 billion, and Google $176 billion.

Armstrong says this demonstrates AOL’s huge opportunity. Maybe. Or maybe it demonstrates a hugely blown opportunity. Or both.

But one thing is clear: With the traffic AOL has, if Armstrong can get the monetization engine running, there’s enormous upside.

We left Microsoft off the chart below, because it’s not an online-only business.

chart of the day, aol, google, facebook, yahoo, market cap per unique visitor, my

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Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-demand-media-2011-4

Investors have been fleeing Demand Media since April 6th, as shown in this chart from Yahoo Finance.

April 6 is right around when Google implemented its latest search algorithm tweak, which has hammered Demand Media’s sites according to Hitwise data given to Forbes, as well as earlier data from SEO firm Sistrix.

Demand admitted its traffic had fallen off, but said it would still hit its stated financial goals. Obviously that wasn’t enough assure spooked investors.

demand media chart

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Source: http://techcrunch.com/2011/03/29/stocktwits-continues-to-expand-steals-vp-david-putnam-from-yahoo-finance/

StockTwits, a realtime platform for stock traders to share information, has been undergoing a rapid growth spurt of late. According to Quantcast, 465,000 people are now visiting the site per month, which means the company has more than doubled its visitors since early December, when less than 200,000 were checking in to share and trade. This seems largely due to the service’s continuing evolution beyond its TweetDeck roots and creation of its own true investor ecosystem chalk full of video, news and charts — all enabled by an AIR app.

What’s more, the company announced in December that Yahoo would begin pulling data from the StockTwits API and adding it to individual stock pages, complementing the similar deals it had already forged with CNN, MarketWatch, and Bloomberg.

And now it seems that, while Yahoo is pulling data from its API, StockTwits has been busy pulling senior executives from Yahoo’s staff. (I guess turnabout is fair play?) In yet another victory for a company not named Yahoo, David Putnam, who for the past five years has been responsible for global product strategy and management at Yahoo, announced on his blog today that he will be joining StockTwits on April 1 as VP of Product.

This comes on the heels of StockTwits hiring Chris Bullock as its new VP of Corporate Services. Bullock was formerly the senior managing director for global investor relations services at NASDAQ and is charged with bringing investor relations departments to the StockTwits ecosystem.

Putnam, for one, sees a bright future for the up-and-coming stock conversation curator, saying, “StockTwits is big, getting bigger, and going to be huge”. In leaving Yahoo Finance, Putnam is stepping away from, in his words, “the largest financial website in the world”, which he helped to grow to 45 million users a month. Aside from Yahoo’s notorious (and seemingly never-ending) struggles, that’s no easy feat. If StockTwits is hoping to one day take on the big players like Yahoo, nabbing the company’s execs is a great way to start.

As Putnam turns his sights to “helping build the biggest financial idea network in the world”, it will be important for the company to remain focused on building a rabid community and not monthly site traffic.

Investor relations will be a big area for StockTwits going forward, as quite a few companies have started using the service to disseminate information among investors and answer their questions. As part of its features, StockTwits distributes companies’ messages to Bloomberg, Yahoo! Finance, CNN Money and Bing Finance, a big selling point for many companies. If the service can continue to add to its investor relations, we all may be StockTwitting in the near future.


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