Webometric Thoughts

October 11, 2007

Nielsen’s old fashioned newspaper statistics

Filed under: Guardian,newspapers,nielsen — admin @ 7:06 pm

Nielsen Netratings have just released the latest figures for the top 10 UK print newspapers online. Whilst the Guardian continues to attract the largest number of unique users, most of the other papers are growing faster, and in terms of total minutes on a site the Guardian is in a poor fifth place after The Sun, The Daily Mail, The Telegraph, and The Times.

The sites are being compared because they all fall under the umbrella of ‘UK national newspapers’, but the wide variety in the time people are spending on the sites indicates significantly different types of user behaviour: The high amount of time spent on The Daily Mail and The Sun may indicate that people are approaching these sites in the same way they do newspapers, seeing them as a whole package; whereas the significantly lower periods of time spent on the more serious newspapers (i.e., The Times, The Telegraph, and The Guardian), would seem to indicate that it is the individual stories that are of interest. Comparisons between the different newspapers are really comparing chalk and cheese. It is also pretty meaningless to purely look at UK figures, sites such as the Guardian have a significant following in the US (whereas the US has plenty of its own right-wing crappy press).

If comparisons are to be made between the newspapers, it would probably be more interesting to compare the results with the print editions’ circulation figures. Such figures would truly indicate the Guardian’s online success.


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