After reading an article in the Phoenix Republic section of the Arizona Republic bragging about how much traffic the Republic’s blogs are getting (which I don’t read – the formatting on its website is so bad, difficult to maneuver around, and constantly being changed so you can’t bookmark favorites or consistently find anything, that it’s not worth the headache), I decided to research how many people are really visiting its azcentral.com site, which includes its blogs. The article didn’t mention how many unique visitors the blogs are getting, it only referred to hits – which could be grossly inflated if you have the same tech support guys at work and employees accessing the site frequently.
I looked up azcentral.com’s popularity and performance on quantcast.com, and alexa.com, two of the leading website stats trackers. The graph below is from alexa and tracks what percentage of global users are accessing the site over the past 5 years. As you can see, the Republic’s share has been sharply declining.
Quantcast only tracks sites within the past 6 months. Their chart, which tracks monthly unique U.S. visitors, reveals the same downward trend, which buttresses the accuracy of these numbers and this trend.
Below are two more charts from alexa showing how azcentral.com’s ranking among all the websites in the world in terms of popularity has continued to decline, and also its page views.
In comparison, check out the graph for KTAR.com, right wing talk radio that is adapting slowly to the web with news articles:
The Republic’s downward trend started coincidentally around the same time the paper hired Keven Willey as editor, who pushed the paper much farther to the left. It has continued to take a hard left slant under editor Ward Bushee and now Randy Lovely with no sign that the bleeding will stop. Any predictions on how long before the Republic closes its doors? The Seattle Times announced over Christmas that it’s not making it, and they are going to try to cut jobs and change the newspaper, but one of the options considered at this point is shutting down. They’ll probably be gone in a year. Espressopundit has noted that it takes 100 times as many website readers to generate the ad revenues as print readers. The Republic must really be tanking with declining web readers in addition to its declining print subscribers.