14 Sep 2020

Anti-social: Organic Search And Referrals Dominate Lede Al Traffic

Now three weeks into Ohio’s fall high school sports season (yes, they’re playing), we’ve been tracking the data coming out of Richland Source, our flagship newsroom. Richland Source uses Lede AI to cover every sport in every high school in Ohio. They publish automatically to their BLOX content management system once per day, usually in the late evening.

The last time we checked in was immediately after opening night for football season. Unique page views were up 15% over the previous year and during the 7 day period we measured, Lede AI produced over 800 stories.


Year over year traffic on Lede AI content as of September 13, 2020
Year over year traffic on Lede AI content as of September 13, 2020

Here’s four things that stood out to us.

  1. Consistent, day after day, growth in traffic. Up 41% over the previous year.

  2. There’s a slight downward trend on Friday – Sunday peaks.

  3. Almost every page view is a unique page view.

  4. Time on page is over 2 minutes.

Numbers 3 and 4 are important. Lede AI stories like this one have no art, no video, and no photo galleries. There’s no trickery or fluff to gin up page views. Richland Source can’t account for bot traffic (there likely is some), but the indicators point to real people spending time getting information they care about.


The breakdown of traffic sources to Lede AI content on Richland Source.
The breakdown of traffic sources to Lede AI content on Richland Source.

The overwhelming amount of traffic is coming from three sources.

  1. Organic search via Google accounts for 46% of traffic.

  2. The news aggregation app, Newsbreak delivered 31% of visitors.

  3. Direct traffic rounds out the top three with 18.5%.

Social media? Less than 1%. What makes this significant is how different it is from the everyday traffic in this local, tightly focused newsroom, where social media accounted for 28% of all user visits during the same period.

We’ll keep tracking how Lede AI content behaves in the Richland Source newsroom throughout this weird high school sports season. If you want to learn more about Lede AI or give us a try in your newsroom, let’s set up a call and talk.

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