Monday, May 09, 2011

New Pew study looks at online behavior on news sites

The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism has released results from an in-depth study of the top 25 U.S. news websites to examine audience behavior, specifically how users get to the top news sites, how long they stay during each visit, how deep they go into a site, and where they go when they leave.

Jim Romenesko summarized a few highlights that I found interesting from the Navigating News Online report:
* While Google search, Google news, and other aggregators are the top way into news sites, “social media is rapidly becoming a competing driver of traffic.” Facebook drives almost 8 percent of the traffic to the Huffington Post and between 1 and 7 percent to the other 24 studied.

* Eight of the top 25 sites attracted more women than men, including the Huffington Post, which also had the greatest proportion of young adults.

* At all the sites, casual users who come only a few times a month account for most of the visitors. “On average, 77 percent of the traffic to the top 25 news sites came from users who visited just one or two times.” At, for instance, 85 percent of visitors came one to three times in a month; three quarters only once or twice.
For more information, you can read Jim’s post, “New Pew report confirms truisms about online behavior, has surprises too.” Read "The 5 must-knows about how readers navigate news online, drawn from new Pew study,” by Rick Edmonds. Or go directly to the PEW report, Navigating News Online.

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