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January 20, 2018

With News Corp Scandal, Guardian Approaches 4 Million Daily Visitors

The Guardian won’t have to await its award in heaven, or next year’s journalism prizes (and when will those go international, befitting our times?).

It has seen a huge jump in people visiting its website. On Monday, a peak, in this amazing, still-unwinding tale, the Guardian saw nearly 4M uniques.  That compares with 2.8 million average day visitors in May, and that was an above-average month for the Guardian, when it landed 51 million uniques overall. (That larger worldwide unique reach is consistent of what we’re seeing among most big news brands: the ubiquity of access ushered in by the smartphone, and now the tablet, has exposed evern more people to the power of major national/global news producers in the UK and U.S.)

The spike is an almost 30% increase.

Normally, the Guardian divides its traffic into thirds, consistent with several other major UK news brands (“The newsonomics of the British invasion“). That’s a third in the UK, a third in the US (with five times the population) and a third in what we’d call ROW — rest of the world. This story, though, changed those dynamics, with 50% coming from UK, as national readers were rapt, following the developments, with 20% U.S. and 25%  ROW. Given the overall increase in visits, I’d read that more as intense UK interest than lesser U.S. interest.

It wasn’t just the blow-by-coverage, the live blog and running analysis that brought in readers. With such social tools as the Twitter monitor, watching comment as the Murdochs were grilled Tuesday in Parliament, the Guardian reinforced its central, ongoing role in the story. That feature alone, with a timeline and tag cloud, generated more than 1000 re-tweets and almost 500 Facebook shares, all helping contribute to that traffic spike.

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