Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Sacramento Bee discovers a heavy-handed way to increase web traffic (bumped and updated)

A source informs me McClatchy has discovered a strategy guaranteed to increase web traffic -- the computers at Sacramento Bee have been set so SacBee.com is the default home page for all Bee employees.

The Bee's computer technicians have disabled the browser tool for resetting home pages and employees who want to use the old intranet page have been told to bookmark it. For newsroom workers, the old site has many quick links to database searches and there has been a lot of grumbling etc. about the switch.
I assume that means the SacBee.com site automatically gets thousands of new hits a day -- from its own employees doing computer research or emailing.
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Questions: are web advertising rates tied to hits? If so, can the services that track traffic tell if a company is "padding" its traffic?

UPDATE 11:23 PM: A commenter says the extra hits coming from Bee computers won't count as increased hits:
..unfortunately, most blog traffic is measured by "unique hits," one hit from IP address A, another from address B, and so on. If Sacramento is like any other corporation, all their web traffic comes out of one IP address, so if 500 people open their browser at the Bee, it only counts as one unique hit.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm not a McClatchy sympathizer or anything, but this just sounds smart. When you're in survival mode, do what you've got to do.

Anonymous said...

My only hope is some day McClatchy no longer exist. Please let it happen. McClatchy sucks. Take another newspaper everyone and talk to your friends and neighbors and talk them into it.. I for one live in the Midwest and take the NY Times I love it. They deliver it to my house before 6 a.m. the same day.

Chipmunk Chump said...

unfortunately, most blog traffic is measured by "unique hits," one hit from IP address A, another from address B, and so on. If Sacramento is like any other corporation, all their web traffic comes out of one IP address, so if 500 people open their browser at the Bee, it only counts as one unique hit. This is especially true if they're using the same browser.

But it's an inexact science at best.

Anonymous said...

haha, you blew the doors wide open on that one man! this must give them TONS of revenue! keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

McClatchy sells ads a number of ways, but the most popular is plain old impressions. So you pay for X impressions. It makes no difference if all 10,000 impressions are internal bee IP's or not.

This could be construed as fraud.

Anonymous said...

Most (if not all) McClatchy papers have moved to a cost per thousand pricing model for online advertising. This means that, unlike print advertising, the cost is not set by the number of impressions.

The web differs from print in that there is a relatively limited inventory. They can add positions for ads or they can increase traffic. If they have one position and 100,000 hits, they can sell 10 clients 10,000 impression packages and fulfill them. If they can increase their impressions, they increase the inventory and increase the number of packages available for sale thus increasing revenue (in theory).

They also have national filler ads served into empty slots by McClatchy Interactive. I don't know if those are sold on a cost per thousand basis, but I suspect they are. I don't know of any McClatchy programs based on click-throughs and I think they have abandoned the share of voice models (where you would have 10 clients splitting the number of impressions regardless of whethere that is 50,000 or 500,000).

Anonymous said...

McClatchy bought our paper from Knight-Ridder and since then it's been layoff after layoff, even before the recession. I don't see any managers being laid off. I hate McClatchy.