At RBC, More Posts = More Readers. Roughly.

A dull and rainy Sunday afternoon led me to do some analysis of RBC’s pattern of visits. Particularly, I was curious whether more posts means more traffic. The data in the table are on a monthly basis, which is rather crude, and only go back for the past 12 months (April 2011 through March 2012), which is a rather short data series. Visits aren’t the same as unique readers either. Finally, there isn’t a huge amount of variation to explain. Nonetheless, the Pearson correlation is .46 between the two numbers.

The correlation would be even stronger if not for the anomaly of December 2011. Posts went up by 6% from November, but monthly visits dropped by about 15,000. So while everyone else was out doing holiday shopping, the RBC crew was hard at work (or alternatively, drinking too much eggnog, which lead to a quality of posts beneath the standards of our discerning readers).

Author: Keith Humphreys

Keith Humphreys is the Esther Ting Memorial Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University and an Honorary Professor of Psychiatry at Kings College London. His research, teaching and writing have focused on addictive disorders, self-help organizations (e.g., breast cancer support groups, Alcoholics Anonymous), evaluation research methods, and public policy related to health care, mental illness, veterans, drugs, crime and correctional systems. Professor Humphreys' over 300 scholarly articles, monographs and books have been cited over thirteen thousand times by scientific colleagues. He is a regular contributor to Washington Post and has also written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Monthly, San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian (UK), The Telegraph (UK), Times Higher Education (UK), Crossbow (UK) and other media outlets.

3 thoughts on “At RBC, More Posts = More Readers. Roughly.”

  1. Because I view RBC via Google Reader, I get to see every post without going to the blog. I do not know if reading it on Reader shows up as a vist, if listing shows up on a visit, and if I skip one or two because a title sounds less scintillating than the others and then use the “Mark All As Read” option, maybe that shows up as a visit too. In short, hit counts aren’t necessarily accurate.

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