Drudge the king-maker for online news

Via a post by my friend Paul Kedrosky I found out that the Drudge Report is responsible for one quarter — a whopping 25 per cent — of all inbound traffic to some of the leading British news sites, including The Guardian, the BBC, the Independent and the Telegraph. That’s a mind-boggling number.

It comes from a study of British online news sites by Neil Thurman, a researcher at City University in London. To put that Drudge figure in perspective, the site (according to Nielsen/NetRatings at least) accounted for more traffic than Google, Google News and Yahoo News combined.

Pretty impressive — even if Drudge does inflate its page views by forcing the site to reload every three minutes.


Martin Hofmann points out in the comments that the Drudge figure is based on a single month worth of traffic from more than two years ago.

6 thoughts on “Drudge the king-maker for online news

  1. I don’t mind if a site that aggregate hundreds of sources pushes out a refresh every once in a while. It saves me from clicking Refresh to see if anything on Techmeme has updated.

    But Drudge? Yeah, sounds like phoney page inflation to me.

  2. re: forced page reloads:

    I wrote about this issue a few days ago, when the Washington Post’s website finally drove me around the bend. I hate this behavior because, with the exception for rapidly-changing pages mentioned above, forced page reloads are a completely artificial way of increasing page view statistics. The practice doesn’t actually improve readers’ experience (in fact, it makes their experience much worse) and the higher page views don’t actually reflect any additional viewership.

    Anyway, the Post does it in a particularly annoying way, which I wrote about here.

  3. In the City University study that Paul Kedrosky quotes, the Drudge traffic figure is based on only one month of traffic: June 2005. It is impressive but it would be interesting to find out what the percentage is over the course of a year and whether it still holds true in August 2007.

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