02/12/2012

Internet Traffic, Site Recognition Anomalies

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Pew looked at which sites people are using to find out about politics, and found that HuffPost is getting many visitors, but they don’t credit it as the place they go to for political news. CNN Politics and Politico get named as sites people use, but don’t have the numbers.

There are a couple of reasons suggested for this, including the one that our behavior and our memory may not sync up. I posit that another reason could be that if you ask people where they search for political news, they think of political and news sites, e.g CNN, Fox, Politico. Yet it is possible they see political news from feeds, browsing, and e-news aggregators, which send them to HuffPost, itself an aggregator. That kind of browsing makes you remember the news story, not the source. This is what disintermedia means, I think.

So, if the HuffPost Politics audience is pretty loyal, there would need to be another explanation for why 2 percent of Pew survey respondents named it as a key source. Some other high-traffic sites including Politico and RealClearPolitics also rated low in the Pew survey. As our report noted yesterday, “What people say they do is not always aligned with their actual behavior.”

via Why HuffPost is top of traffic charts for politics news, but not top of mind | Poynter..