The BBC Effect: Hot Traffic Analysis

Last week QOT was featured on BBC Click, their flagship technology programme and a rush of traffic followed, but it was unlike the traffic you get from other social media sites like, Stumbleupon or Digg. I share with you some insights about the BBC effect which rocked our site.

Here is what the Sitemeter traffic charts looked like last month.
BBC Traffic

1. Long Lasting Traffic – The cool feature about the BBC traffic was that the traffic spike was sustained and long lasting. You can see the traffic uniformly came over the last week, and gradually came to normal as the next edition of Click came live this week and the show moved into archives.

2. Uniform Traffic – There was no traffic spikes that can crash shared hosting servers. The traffic was pretty uniform throughout the day on hourly statistics. There was lots of traffic even when the US crowd was asleep. Compare this with traffic when you get hit by Digg and Stumbleupon, or hit by front page.

3. Many new visitors – About 4000 extra unique visitors visited the site over the last week, which was unlike the burst of huge traffic you get when your story hits Digg. But these users were targeted and knew what they expected to find and browsed around.

4. Lots of Pageviews – It was characterized by high pageviews throughout the week touching 22000 pageviews per day. The readers were busy browsing around the site. A major reason for this could have been that the Popular page was featured on the show, and most visitors went surfing there to find lots of links to check out.

5. International TV Audience – Click is a popular tech program on BBC and has lot of influence on the tech community. A television feature got more people searching for the site, than clicking for it and that led to the sustained traffic as the show was broadcast at different times across the world. It was a different audience altogether.

6. No Hosting / Server issues – The traffic was smooth throughout and there were no surprise peaks of traffic which could destabilize the server or cause hosting problems. Dreamhost stuck through the traffic without a hitch.

7. Poor Backlinks – Its possible a large majority of readers were not bloggers, but netizens interested in tech and geeky stuff. I hope they enjoyed surfing the site and bookmarked some stuff.

8. Few Comments – there were no extra comments than usual since the main blog site was recommended, rather than a single article and so they browsed around everywhere.

9. Few subscribers – The feedcount was jumping above 15500 on those few days, so it seems 100-200 new readers might have subscribed over the week, but its difficult to say.

10. Few Adsense Clicks – They came, they read, they browsed, but did not click the Google Adsense ads. It seems the visitors were so used to spotting advertisements that clicking ads was low on agenda. So earning saw a very minor increase only, despite more pageviews.

11. Great Branding – I studied some keywords bringing in traffic, and hundreds of visitors came searching for quickonlinetips, quick online tips, It was more so because many saw the BBC television show, and searched later to get to the site. It was great for branding as many people got to know about QOT and spread the word.

12. Better than Newspapers – QOT has been featured before in newspapers, but the impact on traffic was low as usually the online component is missing, or deep. Whereas BBC provided an audiovisual impact with a supporting online pages to drive traffic, with an international exposure.

13. Multiple Pronged Traffic – Visitors come from various sources like seeing the site on the Click TV show, archives, Webscape page and the BBC World News pages. It was a full range of audiences.

14. Traffic Continues – Medscape is a popular feature on Click and the back show archives are linked to all episodes, so a constant slow traffic flow still continues, and will do so till the recent archives persist.

Overall, getting featured on BBC was a great experience and I hope the visitors found what they were looking for and subscribed to get updates. Mainstream media provides great branding for your site and a constant flow of traffic. BBC traffic was different and a smooth experience.

I still dream of getting on Yahoo! buzz, which promises highest traffic ever.

Share with friends

About the Author: P Chandra is editor of QOT, one of India's earliest tech bloggers since 2004. A tech enthusiast with expertise in coding, WordPress, web tools, SEO and DIY hacks.