traffic analysis 2012 traffic analysis 2012

Our annual breakdown of statistics on people reading and posting to

Here are our reader and user stats from 2012 1. In summary, reader figures have fallen slightly on the previous year, but are still significantly higher than 2010 and 2009. We have also had by a significant margin the largest number of new articles posted, and the largest number of active users posting articles.


Average monthly visits (annual change)
2009 - 130,585 2
2010 - 145,176 (+11%)
2011 - 207,856 (+43%)
2012 -188,239 (-10%)

Average monthly unique visitors
2009 - 88,731
2010 - 95,862 (+8%)
2011 - 131,108 (+37%)
2012 -121,401 (-8%)

Average monthly page views
2009 - 399,156
2010 - 425,007 (+6.5%)
2011 - 594,372 (+40%)
2012 -461,677 (-23%)

Traffic sources
Overall, 51% of our traffic came from search engines, 29% referrals from other website and 20% from direct traffic.

The biggest referring sites (excluding search engines) last year were, in descending order, with annual change in brackets:
Facebook (+106%, including a 405% increase for mobile Facebook) (+20%)
Twitter (+254%)
Wikipedia (-27%) (-35%)

This continues the trend of social media websites, particularly Facebook, becoming increasingly important for our traffic as the more traditional websites like Wikipedia become less important.


For the third year running, we have surpassed the largest number of new articles posted, and by a significant margin this year.

New articles per year
Articles posted 2012: 2630
Articles posted 2011: 2167
Articles posted 2010: 1896
Articles posted 2009: 1558
Articles posted 2008: 1017
Articles posted 2007: 1225
Articles posted 2006: 1991 3
Articles posted 2005: 1867 4
Articles posted 2004: 75

Number of users who have posted articles per year:
2011: 199
2010: 180
2009: 133
2008: 158
2007: 73
2006: 70
2005: 67
2004: 14

Total number of users who have ever posted articles
end 2012: 586
end 2011: 481
end 2010: 380

Total articles:
2012: 14511
2011: 11881

User comments posted per year:
Comments in 2012: 42199
Comments in 2011: 46361
Comments in 2010: 48802
Comments in 2009: 45728
Comments in 2008: 59144
Comments in 2007: 98942
Comments in 2006: 80823
Comments in 2005: 42210
Comments in 2004: 11267

Total comments:
end 2011: 433663
end 2012: 450780

Total users who've ever posted one or more comments:
end 2012: 5604
end 2011: 4533
end 2010: 3765

Social networking

Facebook likes
end 2010 ~10005
end 2011 4373
end 2012 10151

Twitter followers
end 2010 ~8006
end 2011 2050
end 2012 5236


In general these are the patterns we expected to see. The libcom forums have continued to decline in importance, partially due to stricter posting guidelines but more significantly we believe due to the continued rise of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and tumblr for discussion.

Furthermore, we retrospectively unpublished a significant number of old forum threads which breached current site guidelines which appears to have reduced search engine referrals to the forums. As this was low quality content this is not problematic.

So overall we have had a slight dip in the number of unique visitors. This is partially due to the reduced search engine referrals to the forums. But we believe that the drop probably has more to do with the dip in class struggle this year compared to last year. So quite simply there has been less going on in the world for us to report on and for people to discuss here. We have found that our traffic goes up and down depending on what mass struggles are occurring. For example, it rocketed during the 2006 struggles in France and the 2008 Greek riots, dipping significantly in between.

The even more significant drop in the number of visitors and page views is probably related to the decline in use of the forums, as regular users look at fewer threads and check the forums less regularly.

The significant increase in the number of articles posted we are extremely pleased with, as an expanded pool of bloggers are contributing and lots of our users have posted articles to the library, history and news sections.

We hope that our readers find some of this information useful.

Thanks very much to all of our readers, to those who have Liked or tweeted libcom articles, shared them on other websites, donated money, reported spam, contributed in the forums and especially to our users who have contributed content. And if you didn't help out last year, why not give a hand this year instead?

If there is anything else people would like to know about the figures please ask in the comment section below.

Happy New Year everyone!

  • 1. Different stats systems measure traffic in very different ways. So two different systems can give wildly different results. Our system excludes all bots, and only counts real visits by people.
  • 2. This is the first year comparable statistics were available
  • 3. CPE + Endpage + copying over articles from news + history that weren't imported into Drupal
  • 4. same as 2006, also we might have added the old news around then
  • 5. Not an exact figure but an estimate. The last exact figure was 1500 in May 2010
  • 6. Not an exact figure but a figure from memory

Posted By

Jan 4 2013 15:46


Attached files


Jacques Roux
Jan 4 2013 18:45

Looks great!