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Huffington Post

Huffington Post, Google Promote Chrome Application 'In the River'

I write a lot about the importance of marketing and promoting "in the river" - my terminology for engaging users in the most specific and relevant experiences / locations. This concept is increasingly important new platforms (software and hardware) emerge and as those experiences consequently change. Just the other day I wrote about how Evernote has done a masterful job creating numerous applications for each native environment: iPhone, iPad, desktop, Outlook, browser, etc. This will become the norm... and the result is that targeted messaging becomes tougher and more challenging.

Here is a great example from Huffington Post (along with Google & Chrome) - who is always far along the marketing & experimental curve. If you visit their site in the Google Chrome browser, the header is taken over to promote their new Chrome Application: Newsglide. Simple - but brilliant. This messaging would be overlooked if it were a traditional location. And it would wasted real estate if it were a universal promotion. Furthermore, the promotion is native to the experience (a similar action in Firefox would look different).

It wasn't long ago that I commented on Huffington Post's in-experience promotion of their Google Chrome Application (see example here).

Promote Your Application Where, When it is Used (Huffington Post Example)

Applications now being built atop: - mobile web (html5, wap, etc) - mobile platforms (iPhone, Android, etc) - browser extensions (chrome, firefox, safari, etc) - desktop apps (ie adobe air) And with users accessing content in so many different ways, publishers must think about both development (cost, talent, scalabilty, etc) and distribution (how will users access the new products?).

Always at the cutting edge, Huffington Post has successful iPhone and iPad applications and one of the web's best Facebook integrations.

They also now have a Google Chrome extension... which they alert Chrome users to with each session. The webpage drops down a notice and allows users to install directly. It is a very targeted and powerful way for Huffington Post to alert users. It is also a proven lever for other publishers and sources - for instance, visit on your iPhone and you will notice a major iPhone App promotion.

"Check out our Google Chrome Extension. Get up to-the-minute reports, blogs and analysis with quick-view articles from all sections."

Tiger Woods Propels TMZ to 51st Most Visited Website

These days, sponsors might not like Tiger Woods... but TMZ sure does. Steady at 3-4.5m daily pageviews, the news surrounding Tiger Woods over Thanksgiving doubled TMZ's traffic, propelled them to the 51st most visited website, and grew their audience to nearly 22m global uniques.

To put that in perspective, Hulu is 23.8m monthly uniques, Huffington Post is 25.5m, Pandora is 16m and LinkedIn is 31.7m (all are also directly measured via Quantcast).

The Tiger Woods scandal drove significant traffic for TMZ (and continues to do so as the story develops / continues) - and it drives traffic for other sites as well. But TMZ has become the leader in pop-culture gossip after breaking several key stories including Michael Jackson's passing... and they have clearly become the most trafficked gossip site (nearly twice the visitors of - although 2/5th of the pageviews per visitor).

Amidst their growth, TMZ has announced the upcoming launch of TMZ Sports site to expand the brand and reach new audiences.

Michael Jackson Drives Perez Hilton to Record 2m Uniques in Day

Michael Jackson's death was remarkable in several ways - one of which was what it signified for news delivery and discovery. Like millions of others, I first found out through Facebook, Twitter, text messages... all of which led me to TMZ and Perez Hilton. The first major news source to break Jackson's death was the LA Times - and it is important to note that it was done first through their blog and not the homepage. Of course, that was discovered and then shared instantly via Twitter.

Hitwise today notes that TMZ experienced record traffic - catapulting into the 60th most trafficked website (and struggling to support the overwhelming growth).

But you can also look at Perez Hilton to give perspective on the traffic growth. is measured by Quantacst and we can therefore get a public, accurate representation of his traffic. Two million uniques visited on June 26th - a huge leap from the previous high of 1.6m. Those 2m visitors delivered 15.3m total page views for the day - which was his third biggest total but short of the April 22nd record of 17.7m.

perez-hilton To put this in perspective, we can compare it to Huffington Post's traffic for June 26th (also measured by Quantcast). Measured by uniques, HuffingtonPost is a far larger site: 19.5m monthly uniques vs. 13.1m. By pagviews, PerezHilton is far larger: ~300m monthly views vs. ~220m. But Perez dominated by any measurement and, regardless of the 'winner', these are huge numbers for nontraditional media sources and proof that 'breaking' news is being delivered - and read! - in nontraditional places. 15.3m pageviews and 2m uniques 9m pageviews and 1.7m uniques


Facebook Drives 19% of Huffington Post's Traffic

When I last covered Perez Hilton, it was when he hit 14,000,000 pageviews in a single day - a remarkable feat considering big brands like Huffington Post had topped out at 7,700,000. An interesting outcome of the article came from Hitwise: Heather Hopkins noted that Facebook was Perez Hilton's #1 traffic referral (8.7% vs Google's 7.6%).

So I dug into Huffington Post's numbers to see what another major media site's traffic sources looked like. First off, HuffPo does about 200 million monthly pageviews and reaches about 13 million viewers:

Also worth noting: Huffington Post is nearly two years old. That may seem trivial, but it means that they have had plenty of time to build a good reputation with Google (and other search engines) and links across the web (blogs, media, etc)... and with two years of content, that suggests that SEO traffic should be higher for Huffington Post than the normal publisher.

Yet, according to Compete's "referring analytics", Huffington Post derives 18.6% of its traffic from Facebook. Wow: "referring analytics": #1. Facebook 18.59% #2. Google 11.6% #3. Yahoo 5.16% #4. Digg 4.43% #5. NYTimes 2.5%

Huffington Post gets nearly 1/3rd of their traffic from two sources: one is algorithmic and one is social. And the fact that so much of their traffic comes from Facebook suggests that Huffington Post:

- creates great, viral content... interesting enough that its readers actively share it - benefits from breaking news (probably before major papers can) and/or controversial content

Perez Hilton Hits 14,000,000 Pageviews Yesterday. Wow.

You might not be interested in celebrity news and gossip...You might not consider it important or meaningful... But to the web, it is significant and marks a major move in the Digital Media space.

I've written about Perez Hilton many times before and the values / perils of being a one-man brand.

But by doing 14,000,000 pageviews yesterday... Perez has clearly showed those are not issues for and his business. 14m pageviews is a staggering number for what is basically a one-man shop and blog. Those numbers cement him as a major online brand and space (obvious even a year ago). Consider that 14m pageviews is ahead of Huffington Post (max was 7.7m / day in last month) and on the heels of (max was 20.8m in last month).

It is also worth noting that all three sites (, and are directly measured by Quantcast.

Perez Hilton's daily traffic measured against Huffington Post (to show scale):

Perez Hilton's daily traffic measured against's:

Perez Hilton's Monthly Uniques

Perez Hilton's Monthly Pageviews:

2009 Predictions: More Huffington Posts and Daily Beasts

First there was the Drudge Report.Now there is the Huffington Post. ... And Politico. ... And The Daily Beast.

And as part of my 20 Digital Media Predictions for 2009 series, I am suggesting that there will be others that successfully break into this space.

The Huffington Post

Why? Because five themes are at work here:

1. For the most part, the major news sources aren't yet hip to online traffic and marketing... that leaves a major opportunity for upstart, web savvy online content players who aggregate and create news.

2. It is (relatively) easy to drive traffic in these formats... and it is scalable. With the right team, it is possible to achieve large numbers quickly.

3. Consumers like their content aggregated and they like it delivered in blog-like formats (real-time, easily digestible, full of links).

4. Launching is affordable as it requires little up-front costs (development, dollars, etc). Meanwhile, data is easily accessible such that the business model and audience appetite can be assessed before warranting a full investment / resourcing.

5. Verticals fetch advertising dollars. And this trend will become more apparent in 2009.