Libcom.org traffic analysis 2014

Libcom.org traffic analysis 2014

This is our rundown of our readership and content statistics for 2014. It has been our biggest year ever, with visits up 45%, and unique visitors up 57% on last year.

Traffic

Average monthly visits1 (annual change)
2009 - 130,585 2
2010 - 145,176 (+11%)
2011 - 207,856 (+43%)
2012 - 188,239 (-10%)
2013 - 197,845 (+5%)
2014 - 286,813 (+45%)

Average monthly unique visitors
2009 - 88,731
2010 - 95,862 (+8%)
2011 - 131,108 (+37%)
2012 - 121,401 (-8%)
2013 - 129,762 (+7%)
2014 - 204,179 (+57%)

Average monthly page views
2009 - 399,156
2010 - 425,007 (+6.5%)
2011 - 594,372 (+40%)
2012 - 461,677 (-23%)
2013 - 390,072 (-15%)
2014 - 539,093 (+38%)

As the traffic has gone up so much this year, we did some additional analysis to see where the additional traffic was going to. It was up to all parts of the site, with history seeing the biggest increase, possibly partly due to our new Working Class History Facebook page. Overall page views of news were up 61%, blogs up 12%, history up 70%, library up 62%, organise up 11%, gallery up 67% and even the forums up 17%.

Traffic sources
The biggest referring sites (excluding search engines) last year were, in descending order, with annual change in brackets:
Facebook (+21% overall, including an 88% increase for mobile Facebook) - averaging just over 34,000 per month
Reddit.com (+108%, overtaking twitter again)
Twitter (+17 %)
Hacker News - a new entry, bringing in just over 3000 referrals per month.
Wikipedia (+15%)
StumbleUpon.com (-11%)

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 first time really in the past year, referrals from mobile Facebook have started to become a significant chunk of traffic.

Content

New articles per year
2004: 75
2005: 1867
2006: 1991
2007: 1225
2008: 1017
2009: 1558
2010: 1896
2011: 2167
2012: 2630
2013: 2312
2014: 1619

Number of users who have posted articles per year:
2004: 14
2005: 67
2006: 70
2007: 73
2008: 158
2009: 133
2010: 180
2011: 199
2012: 202
2013: 187
2014: 170

Total number of users who have ever posted articles
2014: 708
2013: 662
2012: 586
2011: 481
2010: 380

Total articles:
2014: 18259
2013: 16814
2012: 14511
2011: 11881

User comments posted per year:
2014: 18457
2013: 23687
2012: 42199
2011: 46361
2010: 48802
2009: 45728
2008: 59144
2007: 98942
2006: 80823
2005: 42210
2004: 11267

Total comments:
2011: 433663
2012: 450780
2013: 499099
2014: 517995

Total users who've ever posted one or more comments:
2014: 6919
2013: 6554
2012: 5604
end 2011: 4533
end 2010: 3765

Social networking

Facebook likes
2010: ~10003
2011: 4373 (+337%)
2012: 10151 (+132%)
2013: 16950 (+67%)
2014: 26355 (+55%) + 6340 (working class history)

Twitter followers
2010: ~8004
2011: 2050 (+156%)
2012: 5236 (+155%)
2013: 9951 (+90%)
2014:13,400 (+35%) +270 (@wrkclasshistory)

Conclusion

To our surprise, we see that this has been our most popular year ever, at least that we can measure (2006 may have been bigger due to our coverage of the anti-CPE movement but we used a different system for monitoring traffic then).

This is despite a slight drop in the number of new articles posted on last year and 2013. This could be that we have archived less content from elsewhere (as in previous years we had big projects to backup and duplicate other websites), but more unique high-quality written content has been posted, especially to our news and blog sections.

An important but perhaps unsurprising trend seems to be that when there is a lot happening in the world, particularly with regard to class struggle or war, our traffic seems to go up. And 2014 has been an eventful year, with the conflicts in Syria, Ukraine, the protests in Venezuela etc so this has probably helped.

Use of the forums for discussion has continued its long-term trend of decline, although surprisingly traffic to the forums increased, mostly due to search engine referrals which could be related to the eventful year.

Finally, our ongoing problems with server slowness which we had been suffering for at least a couple of years and had become very troublesome in late 2013 were resolved at the beginning of this year. And this seems to have had a big impact on traffic: better than we could have hoped.

As every year, we would like to thank everyone who has posted here, donated to us or Liked or shared our content on social media. And in particular everyone who has contributed content, particularly our regular contributors and bloggers. It is all of you who make this site: in 2014 more than ever as contributions from site admins continued to reduce due to our increasing personal/work/other political commitments.

We do need more people to get involved, so do please consider becoming a regular helper with the site. You don't need any specialist IT knowledge, and we can show you exactly what to do. If you are interested in becoming a site admin as well please get in touch with us, either through the contact form, by e-mail or in the comments below.

Any questions about any of this information feel free to ask 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. Not an exact figure but an estimate. The last exact figure was 1500 in May 2010
  • 4. Not an exact figure but a figure from memory

Comments

Noah Fence
Jan 4 2015 16:25

Good work guys. I know there are other good resources out there but NOTHING ELSE HAS HAD AS BIG AN IMPACT ON MY POLITICS AS LIBCOM! Keep it up.

plasmatelly
Jan 4 2015 16:30

Proper job! Well done.
In the conclusion it says libcoms most popular year yet - is this due to Facebook and twitter? And are the number of comments recorded include FB and twitter? I'm just wondering how the main site is doing as a stand alone item; it does feel like people post less.

Joseph Kay
Jan 4 2015 16:52

Comments are comments on the site, which look like they're down about 80% on the 2007 peak, which has gone together with the rise of social media. I think I spend more time discussing libcom articles on social media than on the site, and I'm an admin. In my case that's mainly due to it being easier to skive on my phone on twitter than use libcom at work. I've heard some others say they prefer to be able to choose who they discuss with by using social media block/mute features etc.

Steven.
Jan 4 2015 17:04

Cheers guys!

Hi, well Facebook and Twitter help but they aren't really responsible for the increase. Overall social media accounts for 21% of our visits, with 17% direct visits (i.e. people typing in the URL "libcom.org"), 7% links from other websites and 55% from search engines. So the majority of traffic is from search engines, and that's where the majority of the increase was as well.

Unfortunately we can't really do much in terms of analyse trends in search engine referrals like see what people are searching for because last year people searched over 4 million different terms to get to libcom.org.

One amusing search was that nearly 200 people got to libcom from searching "ketamine wombles", quite possibly looking for this academic paper on ketamine by Dr Womble

These traffic and comment statistics are just about the main libcom.org site, they don't count anything on Facebook/twitter etc, other than the number of Likes/followers listed in the relevant section. Counting comments on Facebook would be impossible, but anecdotally we see lots of sometimes quite lengthy discussions about content on libcom which take place on individual people's Facebook walls. Which is unfortunate in many ways as casual readers won't be able to learn anything from them in the way they could in the heyday of the forums.

On the plus side, though, our difficulties in moderating discussions have largely evaporated, and our getting criticism for the behaviour of commenters seems to have stopped.

jef costello
Jan 4 2015 20:06

I'm sure Joseph K said exactly the same thing last year.
It's good to see lots of people using libcom, good work everybody!

petey
Jan 4 2015 23:43

wow!
and here i missed most of this historic year.

Flava O Flav
Jan 6 2015 15:49

Kudos, plus love the cat pic.

Serge Forward
Jan 6 2015 15:59

So long as I don't have to sign up to Basefuck and Twatter for my online political mither, then that'll do, pig.

Joseph Kay
Jan 6 2015 16:24
jef costello wrote:
I'm sure Joseph K said exactly the same thing last year.

They replaced me with a bot on shuffle. Send help.

boomerang
Jan 16 2015 22:05

this is really cool... you should do this every year! (or maybe you already do)

Steven.
Jan 16 2015 23:15
boomerang wrote:
this is really cool... you should do this every year! (or maybe you already do)

have a look at the "Related" articles, above!