Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his gaffes are, hardly surprisingly, a massive hit with leftie Guardian readers, with one of the publisher’s wags labelling him the “gift that keeps on giving”.
When The Guardian’s home page splashed on Abbott agreeing with Sydney broadcaster Alan Jones that wind farms may “have potential health impacts”, last week, Australian audience editor Dave Earley told B&T it performed particularly well.
Joking that Tony Abbott is “the gift that keeps on giving,” Earley added, “we’ve had record traffic globally in the last three to four months. Today 70 per cent of everything clicked through from the home page has been the Tony Abbott story so it’s performed pretty well.”
The Guardian, which is the third most read news site globally and currently ranks at No7 Down Under, has had record traffic in the last four months – and Earley credits the rise in figures to Ophan.
“It’s the best analytics tool in the world,” said Earley, as he gave B&T a one-to-one demonstration of the system at the Guardian’s swanky office in Surry Hills.
“It’s constantly changing and evolving and part of what Ophan does is live updating, and depending on where you’re looking at it in the system, you can set it to show you ‘most recent’ and there’s filters we can use for three minutes or whatever.
“It all works starting at a global level, then we‘ve got various filters, and can look at sections like devices, mobile, desktop, browsers countries, and all the different referrers etc. We tend not to use all of those on the front though as we just want to see what’s getting clicked, right now because we always want to know immediately what the reaction is to a new headline, or a story, or placement.
“When I change it to another measure, the numbers would change to reflect the most clicked in that particular time limit, and the coloured circles denotes the current speed, if it’s going up higher.”
Earley claims Ophan’s handy next generation tool “is changing the culture of the newsroom to digital first”.
“New platforms on social,” he added, “whether it’s Vine, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter etc, wherever our content reaches the audience – our role is to reach as many people as possible – but optimise it for the audience.”
Interesting Facebook recently overtook Google in directing traffic to the site.
“Twitter only makes up about three per cent of our traffic,” added Earley. “Facebook makes up about 25 per cent, Google usually makes up about 25 per cent too and towards end of last year/beg of this year Facebook overtook Google.
“That’s particularly unique to The Guardian Australia because our Facebook and social strategy has been particularly successful, whereas in the UK Google would be doing maybe a third or double because search is much bigger for the UK than it is for us.”
The stats also show what platform readers are consuming the Guardian on: mobiles in the morning, desktop during the afternoon and tablets in evening, with a huge surge of traffic from Facebook between 5-9pm.