A comment over on FriendFeed led me to investigate the traffic stats for some of the popular social media and tech blogs.
Compete Traffic Stats
Here is the Compete Unique Visitors metric for Mashable, TechCrunch, Lifehacker, ReadWriteWeb and MakeUseOf for the last one year:
As you can see, Mashable’s traffic overtook that of TechCrunch and Lifehacker in May 2009.
Google Trends Stats
Here are the trends from Google for the last one year.
You can discount the effect of TechCrunch 50. Better still, the graphs for a longer timeline show the trend:
- Mashable’s focus on social media and its rising traffic stats show that social media is gaining more mainstream attention on the web in larger numbers
- Aggressive use of Twitter to promote new and popular posts seems to be a strategy that is working for Mashable
- TechCrunch does not cover “How To” and “Tips”, while Lifehacker and MakeUseOf heavily focus on them. However, MakeUseOf and Lifehacker’s thrust has traditionally been on desktop platforms – Windows, Linux and Mac. Extensive, in-depth desktop and browser focus doesn’t seem to be a value proposition that works for organic traffic.
- In other words, Mashable has become the de-facto site for How To, Tips and Tricks for Social Media – primarily Facebook and Twitter.
- Lifehacker’s About page talks about their Technorati rank, which really is now well-surpassed by Mashable.
- Both ReadWriteWeb and Mashable have the fastest reporting cycles, with posts being churned out within minutes of breaking news. However, ReadWriteWeb’s target audience has been different from that of Mashable – research orientation, insight into future trends, business focus, and analysis are its core strengths. It remains to be seen if the scramble to post breaking news helps ReadWriteWeb users, since I tend to believe their target audience cares more about insights than news.
- The enjoysthin.gs blog describes an interesting difference between getting linked by TechCrunch vs. ReadWriteWeb. Signups and traffic were significantly higher when linked by RWW, confirming the idea that RWW’s readers have a higher engagement with the site.