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Project Runway Overtakes for Season Premier

In preparation for Lifetime's season premier of Project Runway, ran its standard background ad unit alongside integrated, rich IAB units. The unique part of this campaign, however, was how Perez removed the blog's standard right column so as to better promote Lifetime and the TV schedule. Normally, the right column houses a collection of navigational units and advertising banners. In addition to simplifying the page's visuals - it ensures that the only advertiser on the page is Project Runway... which Perez then sells at premium:


Long Tail Analytics with Quantcast, Google Trends & Compete - Who Wins?

Google entered the public web analytics game yesterday by expanding Google Trends beyond search queries and into web traffic. Just a couple years ago, we had two options for web data: - Comscore provided detailed analytics for the web's top sites - Alexa (inaccurately) estimated traffic based on their tool bar users / usage

Now, we have three major players offering analytics for the tail of websites: Quantcast, Compete and Google Trends. Quantcast is, at this point, the only player that enables publishers to add tags to their site (or media: flash, network, etc) that effectively share their stats and make them public. This gives Quantcast full information about the site and its visitors (the same way that Google Analytics collects their data); they then share a portion of that information publicly and, for quantified publishers, that data should be trusted: pageviews, uniques, visits, etc. The beauty of what Quantcast has built is that publishers are incented to 'quantify' their sites because it provides a trusted 3rd party representation of their traffic - and for the tail of websites, that's an important differentiator because Comscore only measures the web's top sites.

Meanwhile, Compete collects their data from a panel of users and releases monthly stats (for quantified publishers, Quantcast releases daily updates). Below, you'll see just how different Quantcast and Compete are for (who is now quantified). Quantcast shows 9 million monthly uniques and 1.4 million daily uniques - Compete shows about 1.4 million monthly uniques. Big difference:

According to the data (3m uniques vs. 1m) and all of my anecdotal Silicon Valley conversations, Quantcast seems to be the preferred analytics provider over Compete.... but the real wildcard is clearly Google. The Google Trends launch garnered huge buzz yesterday - but it's yet to be seen how big of a step Google is actually taking. You'll notice below that Google Trends shows 600k daily uniques for - which falls between Quantcast and Compete... which leads to me to ask the obvious question: Will Google open up Google Analytics publicly on an opt-in basis? Quantcast has pushed Compete aside by gathering real data provided directly by the website owner. Google already has a massive footprint in Analytics - by providing an option to "make your data public", they can create a consumer-facing analytics service and extend the reach of AdWords / AdSense by matching demographics and allowing direct ad-buying.

The integration is easy and leverages Analytics massive user base. More importantly, it delivers accurate data and makes Google Trends relevant - because, as it currently stands, the data is good just that: trends.

The Trouble with As a Business (Perhaps Blogs For that Matter)

Want celebrity gossip? The online destination of choice is - which, according to Perez, boasts larger readership than People Magazine (the perennial #1 print magazine). That success has turned Perez into a star - he has his own MTV and VH1 shows, is seen in celebrity magazines galore and he's fetching sponsorship deals both personally on on his website.

So you would think that would be growing because of all of this. Wrong. Pageviews, uniques and visits are relatively flat (perhaps even down).

Why? Simply put:because blogging doesn't scale.

As Perez Hilton becomes more of a star, his focus clearly has shifted. There are fewer daily blog posts and, more importantly, fewer 'meaningful' blog posts (there is now lots of content about Perez himself). There is only so much time in the day and only so much juicy gossip.

Meanwhile, there are ways to solve this. Blogs like TechCrunch, Valleywag and others are hiring full staffs and publishing content more regularly. In fact, is quickly taking a backseat to TMZ - which is using its growing staff to out-pace Perez on all fronts.

Gawker is another great example. Sites like have strong traffic in their verticals, but they too become flat over time. Growth then comes from the larger network and increase authorship., for instance, is surging and is growing nicely behind it's increased authorship.

The GawkerNetwork:

Top Sites Reach Reach% 8,705,071 28.8% 5,701,369 18.8% 4,498,218 14.9% 3,247,225 10.7% 2,137,780 7.1% 1,966,213 6.5% 1,758,997 5.8% 1,721,438 5.7% 1,304,718 4.3% 1,297,423 4.3% 1,231,847 4.1% 1,154,466 3.8% 961,723 3.2% 471,975 1.6% 319,265 1.1% 9,543 < 0.1% 8,145 < 0.1%