UK news sites see a drop in visitors in December, but traffic climbs compared to 2010

UK news sites see a drop in visitors in December, but traffic climbs compared to 2010

The UK’s Daily Mail’s website may now be the most popular English-language news website in the world, having surpassed the New York Times’ in December, but the UK press experienced a pretty dismal winter period overall for Web traffic, as the Guardian reports.

As the latest Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) figures indicate, the Independent’s website aside, all national titles saw their average daily uniques fall between November and December, with the Guardian seeing the biggest drop with a 20.61% decline in daily visitors. It still managed an average of 2,937,070 through December though, which is typically a quiet news month anyway.

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However, its month-on-month decline was seemingly made worse given that it had experienced record traffic in November and, moreover, if you put the figure up against December 2010’s traffic, it actually saw a jump of 31.45%, so it’s not all bad for the publication.

It’s perhaps also worth noting that the introduction of the Guardian’s Facebook app could be having a negative effect on traffic, given that users consume the content on the social network rather than visiting the website. The Guardian saw 4m installations of the app in the two months following its launch in late September, however this obviously doesn’t explain why it experienced record traffic in November.

The Sun’s website saw the second biggest drop in traffic, seeing a 10.44% decline in daily visitors to 1,339,077, with monthly traffic dropping by 8.63% to 22,132,021.

It was good news for the Independent though, which relaunched its website back in October. It overtook the Mirror Group Digital and, in the process, became the only site to see more visitors between November and December. Daily online visitors rose 10.56% month-on-month to 758,524, with its overall traffic for December climbing 16.45% to 15,833,084. The Independent actually saw its year-on-year traffic daily traffic figure rise by around 45%.

As for the Daily Mail’s Mail Online, well, it’s still the largest UK newspaper website by far, though it recorded a 5.03% fall in daily online visitors from November, with 4,838,140 arriving on its site each day. From a yearly perspective, both its daily and monthly visitor numbers were up a whopping 60%.

So, December wasn’t a great month on the surface for UK newspapers online, but looking at the bigger picture it seems they’re all actually doing well from a traffic perspective if we compare them with last year’s figures.

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