Times sets record straight on HuffPo traffic

Faith Merino · June 10, 2011 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/1b6d

After HuffPo traffic reportedly blasts past NYTimes, the Times points out a flaw in the data

The New York Times doesn’t take too kindly to being compared unfavorably with HuffPo. Following reports yesterday that HuffPo’s traffic now exceeds that of the New York Times (complete with a tweet from AOL employee Brad Garlinghouse proudly declaring: “Six years to disrupt 100 years. Nice work team Huffpost!”), the New York Times decided to set the record straight.

The numbers are, at first glance, disarming. In May, the Huffington Post had 35.5 million unique monthly visitors compared to the New York Times’ 33.6 million, according to data from comScore and the chart above from BusinessInsider. But as many were celebrating the triumph of pure online news over traditional print media, the New York Times pointed out a glaring flaw in the data: “HuffPo traffic is now combined with AOL, so it’s two sites in one. @nytimes is still the place where readers go for high-quality news,” the Times said via tweet.

To be specific, if you go to AOLNews.com, you’ll be automatically redirected to HuffingtonPost.com, and this redirection probably has a lot to do with HuffPo’s increase in traffic. Indeed, in February—one month before AOL completed its acquisition of the Huffington Post, HuffPo’s traffic was a very different story, hovering somewhere around 25 million monthly visitors, where it had remained more or less since May 2010.

But HuffPo responded to the claims with a tweet of its own to New York Times Communications (@NYTimes Comm): “Sorry guys, this is just for HuffingtonPost.com. AOL sites not included.”

NYTimes Comm quickly countered: “So, are you saying that AOLNews.com does not redirect to HuffingtonPost.com?” (I love that the New York Times even tweets with impeccable grammar.) HuffPo did not respond.

The Times also pointed out that May happened to be a good month for the company to boot. The New York Times’ traffic was up slightly in May (after falling rather steeply between March and April), and it’s up in year-over-year traffic. 

Image source: BusinessInsider.com

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