A recent article from Business Insider expounded on the rise of the Huffington Post, in traffic, over the traditional LATimes and the Washington post. Aside from the oddly arbitrary comparison of the total distribution of the Huffington post (online) to the partial readership of the LATimes and the Washington Post (their offline distribution remains huge, although diminished), does the data say anything?
The Huffington Post has long been a leader in the adoption of social media, and the optimization of online written content. Just a few minutes ago, Nieman Labs released a story on the Huffington Post using A/B testing to create perfect headlines. If anyone is going to be growing online, it is going to be them.
All that in mind, I would like to publicly point out that the WSJ and the NYTimes are still in fact larger than the Huffington Post, by quite a margin. When you factor in their offline reach as well, it makes the Huffington Post a tadpole in their pond. No offense to the Huffington Post, but this is just as meaningful as the Business Insider article point that according to one online analytics service, the Huffington Post had overtaken two print giants. Take a look for yourself at the compete data:
Now add in the data from the LATimes and the Washington Post and you have a graph that says absolutely nothing of comparative interest:
Not to sound grumpy, but Compete data is flawed to begin with. Just to take an example that I can back up, the Compete for TheNextWeb is off by a multiple. Take a look at the data for September, we did over 600,000 hits, not the 400,000 that it is reporting. You could assume that the data is better with larger sample sizes, but that should show you the potential for flaw in Compete data.
Move along, nothing to see here.