Social Media Focus lifts Mashable above TechCrunch and Lifehacker

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:

Compete Stats

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.

Google Trends Chart 1 Year

You can discount the effect of TechCrunch 50. Better still, the graphs for a longer timeline show the trend:

Google Trends Chart All Years

Observations

  • 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.

Your thoughts?

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  • http://www.victusspiritus.com/ Mark Essel

    Wonderful post Mahendra! Thank you for taking the time to organize the popularity and trends for the top tech/social sites. Interesting to see how effictive Twitter has been and social media in general for link sharing and search. The link leaders will naturally see an increase in advertising revenue as they become the defacto method for finding new posts/sites and discovery portals. I wrote about this a few months back, but my information was limited to my blog stats. I'd link to it but iPhone is very finicky about cut and paste :). The title is Ad money will play follow the leader to the king of links.

  • http://wittman.org/ micahwittman

    A compact synopsis and interpretation of the trend lines – great job, Mahendra.

  • http://empoprise-bi.blogspot.com/ John E. Bredehoft (Empoprises)

    I recently saw a commenting asserting that TechCrunch would dramatically lose its influence within a year. I doubted the wisdom of the prediction, but perhaps the person was right…

  • http://www.skepticgeek.com Mahendra

    Mark, thank you for the feedback!

    Your post really complements this one nicely. I suspect LH and MUO have more links stored in browser bookmarks, Foxmarks, Delicious and the like, leading to higher page rank for the 'How To' category. But Mashable would have more posts shared on Facebook, retweeted, plagia…err captured on Posterous, etc. Which of the two types of links are generating more traffic these days? This is why Google has to do battle with Twitter and Facebook.

  • http://www.skepticgeek.com Mahendra

    Micah, thanks! Appreciate your feedback and taking the time to comment.

  • http://www.skepticgeek.com Mahendra

    John, I guess that would be Holden Page on FriendFeed (http://ff.im/8bStx). I won't place bets on the future however, because each of these will align their strategies according to the competition and trends.

    Thanks for your comment, John.

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  • holdenpage

    I still believe in the fact that Techcrunch will make a steady decline because of one thing. There attitude.

    Lately TC has ticked off MANY people not to mention many readers with the all the Twitter posts. When people complained they basically said “stfu, we write about what we want” and that is no way to treat your community is it?

    Idk, just my thoughts and prediction on that matter.

  • crk96

    Mashable is easy to understand for non-english user 😉