The Incredible Drudge Report...
The latest study from the Pew Center's Project For Excellence in Journalism looked at sites that drive traffic to 25 large news sites.
The report has an interesting section on the Drudge Report and how it drives massive amounts of traffic to the news sites in the study, way more than might be expected due to the small size of the operation.
Drudgereport.com is an extremely important traffic driver. While Facebook never drove more than 8% of traffic to any one site, for instance, Drudgereport.com provided more than 30% of traffic to mailonline.co.uk (the British newspaper site the Daily Mail), 19% of the traffic to the NYPost.com, 15% to Washingtonpost.com and 11% to Boston.com and FoxNews.com.
In other words, the Drudge Report's influence cuts across both traditional organizations such as ABC News to more tabloid style outlets such as the New York Post. What's more, Drudge Report drove more links than Facebook or Twitter on all the sites to which it drove traffic.
Drudge Report: Small Operation, Large Influence | Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ)
The Drudge Report has no fancy graphics or much of a design at all. It looks like a web page made by a high school kid in 1996. Yet it is incredibly influential.