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Categories: Good reviews, Internet, Malcolm Coles, Newspapers. Tags: , , , , ,

Hey, James Murdoch: How about thanking the BBC for all your traffic?

September 1, 2009 One Comment

Instead of blaming the problems of online news sites on the BBC "dumping free, state-sponsored news on the market", News Corp chief James Murdoch should thank the BBC for all the traffic it sends his way.

The BBC sends about 870,000 visitors a month to the Times website and 1.1 million to The Sun's, according to It sends similar numbers to Sky's websites.

Percentage of traffic to News Corp's sites from the BBC

Alexa measures visitors' 'preceding sites' - the site they were on before they visit a particular site, and which is likely to have sent them there via a link.

The Alexa figures show how important the BBC is in sending traffic to the Times, Sun etc.

  • Times Online: 4.1% of visits were preceded by - making the BBC the 3rd most important preceding site after (12.9%) and (12.2%). (See the Alexa data - click clickstream).
  • The Sun: 4.35% of visits are preceded by the BBC's site. This makes the BBC the 4th most important preceding site - after (9.5%), (9.2%) and facebook (5.3%).(See Alexa data.)
  • 4.0% of visits are preceded by, making the BBC the 5th biggest preceding site - after (14.9%), (7.8%), (7.7%) and (4.6%). (See Alexa data).
  • 6.6% of visits are preceded by, making the BBC the 3rd most important preceding site - after (10.0%) and (9.0%). (See Alexa data).

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The figures are based on Alexa's clickstream data, which does have a slight American bias as my post on the accuracy of Alexa data found.

The Alexa data measures preceding sites - the order in which sites are visited. It doesn't measure how users got from one site to another. This is most likely to be because a user clicked a link - in which case the BBC is benefiting the next site to be visited. It could also be because they, say, clicked an existing bookmark, in which case the BBC is not responsible for that visit.

The Alexa figures are for visits, whereas the ABCe numbers are for visitors. However, I multiplyied the Alexa %s by the ABCe numbers to come up with the actual visitor numbers for the Times and Sun.

You might also like
  1. The (in)accuracy of Alexa: more evidence not to rely on it
  2. Sites that drive the most USA traffic to UK newspaper sites
  3. Alexa data: how accurate is it – using audited ABCe figures to check?
  4. How sticky are visitors to UK newspaper sites?
  5. How US traffic is vital for UK newspaper sites

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One Comment »

  • Klaus Junginger says:


    I´m finishing my graduation paper on journalism and I´m researching the interface of SEO techniques and news writing. I came to know about search methods, such as broadhead and long tail. Now I would like to get infos on what amount of traffic each of this searches generate for news sites. Furthermore I would like to have your oppinion on a few matters regarding this subject.

    1. could you indicate me a person to talk about the traffic issue (it would be very cool if this could be someone responible for a site´s managing)

    2. I would very much like to have your email to send you a few questions (couldn´t find your email anywhere)


    Klaus Junginger


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