Monday, May 9, 2011

Navigating Online News

How do people find the news?  What makes them stick around?  And where do they go afterward?  The Pew Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism has a new report out, an extensive one that digs deep into the data, to answers these and other questions.  Obviously you can read it for yourself rather than me repeat what it says, but lemme hit a few high notes:
  • About 2/3 of all traffic to news sites is direct, about 1/3 comes from links.
  • Of the roughly 40 percent referrals, Google is the Gorilla.  No surprise there.  See this cool graphic.
  • While Google dominates, Facebook is the up-and-comer, often second or third place in referrals to the web sites studied.
  • What about Twitter?  Not so important.  For some reason, the LATimes gets a lot of traffic via Twitter compared to other major news sites.
  • Most users of news sites are "casual."  Among "power users" we see CNN first, followed by Fox News, Yahoo, AOL News, Google News, and MSNBC.
  • Here's a mind boggling statistic: 69 percent of visitors to Google News end up in one of three places --,, and
It'll take some time to digest the entire report, but it tells us a helluva lot about how people navigate the newsverse.

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