Projo’s online traffic slumps in wake of new website’s launchJanuary 13th, 2012 at 12:22 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
The total number of visitors and page views to ProvidenceJournal.com/Projo.com were both down 32% in the 10 weeks ended Dec. 24 compared with the 10 weeks before the new website launched, figures from Experian Hitwise show. The paper switched to the new, scaled-down ProvidenceJournal.com site on Oct. 17.
ProvidenceJournal.com/Projo.com averaged 300,241 U.S. visitors a week between Oct. 22 and Dec. 24, down from Projo.com’s 439,013 weekly average between Aug. 13 and Oct. 15, Hitwise said. Average weekly page views declined from 1.3 million to 884,706 over the same period.
Separate figures from Nielsen also showed a decline in The Journal’s Web audience.
Projo.com averaged 498,000 unique U.S. visitors a month from July to September, according to Nielsen, while ProvidenceJournal.com/Projo.com averaged 251,000 in November. (Some content, such as the paper’s sports and politics blogs, are still hosted on the Projo.com domain.)
Nielsen cautioned that monthly audience data for news sites can fluctuate significantly “due to both seasonality and the news cycle.” As another measure, the firm pointed to Projo.com’s unique audience as a share of Boston.com’s, which averaged 9.4% from July to September and 5.1% in November.
(The Boston Globe added BostonGlobe.com, a subscription website that features all the content from the newspaper, in September, a move which may have impacted Boston.com’s traffic.)
Most of The Journal’s online content is now in a digital replica of the print edition, which is currently available at no cost as a free trial. Executives at the paper and its parent company have not released information on how much the e-edition will cost once they begin charging for it this year.
Hitwise’s Matt Tatham said he’s seen examples of new sites with paywalls that lost traffic early on but then rebounded. He also said those who visit the new ProvidenceJournal.com tend to have higher incomes than those who used to visit Projo.com.
• Related: Projo paywall will prove pivotal to the paper’s long-term health (Dec. 29)