08:11 AM

RSS becoming a key driver of traffic for NY Times - Feed-related traffic up more than 300%

By Richard MacManus for SiliconValleyWatcher

nytlogoleft_article.gifThe NY Times issued a press release today that claims a massive 342% annual increase in RSS click-throughs. RSS-generated click-throughs totalled 5.9m pageviews in March, representing a 39% increase from February's 4.3 million, the press release said, noting that the Washington and Business feeds were most popular.

The Times offers a variety of RSS feeds - one of the first major newspapers to do so. They publish excerpted RSS feeds, so users have to click through to view the whole story.

It's interesting to look at how the RSS click-throughs for March 2005 compares to the total traffic for that month. The Times reported 5.9 million pageviews from RSS and there were a total of 555 million pageviews for the whole website. So that equates to a little over 1% of the whole site's traffic. A drop in the ocean, in terms of bare figures.

But when you consider that traffic for the whole website only grew by 17% over the past year, whereas the RSS click-throughs grew by 342% in that same period... well you begin to see how RSS is going to be a key driver in growth for the NY Times. Strategically, that's how the NY Times will view this.

I'm sure they're also hoping that in time the volume will increase - which it will, once RSS becomes mainstream.