The power of demand aggregation

Lorcan 2 min read

There are a couple of interesting recent posts on Hitwise.
First, they note that Flickr is the UK’s number one photo site. When they last looked at this in the Spring Flickr was still behind Photobucket. They attribute its improvement to good search engine optimization and searches for what they call ‘soft porn’.
They recently reported that Photobucket was the US’s number one photo site, while Flickr was sixth. How to account for the difference between the US and the UK? Apparently it relates to the ‘Myspace effect’:

LeeAnn (our Director of Research in the US) did a post in June showing that Photobucket ranked #1 in the US whilst Flickr came in at #6. She found that MySpace was a huge source of visits for Photobucket in the US, as it is in the UK. MySpace accounted for 22% of Photobucket’s upstream UK visits last week, compared to only 1.45% for Flickr. But the MySpace effect is much more important in the US than in the UK. MySpace recently became the #1 ranked website in the US, based on share of US visits. In the UK, MySpace ranked #12 last week behind Bebo at #10. [Heather Hopkins – Hitwise UK: Flickr #1 Photography Site in UK]

This is interesting as it shows the impact of Myspace as an aggregator of demand for downstream services.
They also recently discussed the impact of Google Book Search as an aggregator of demand for downstream bookseller services in the UK.

Hitwise data reveals that the top downstream site from Google Book Search UK was Amazon UK receiving 8.3% of the sites visits last week. Bill (our GM of Global Research) did some analysis of this in October and found a similar pattern in the US. Last week, 15.93% of downstream visits from Google Book Search UK went to websites in the Hitwise Shopping and Classifieds – Books category. The following table shows the top 10 downstream Books sites last week. [Heather Hopkins – Hitwise UK: Google Book Search Drives Visits to Book Retailers and Attracts Low Income Seniors]

It would be interesting to see current US figures. They also discuss the demographics of visitors:

Through a partnership with Experian, Hitwise is able to provide a Mosaic profile of visitors to websites. We can report on profiles of website visitors by 11 Groups or 61 Types. The Types that are most highly over-represented on Google Book Search UK are really interesting as they represent young uni students and the elderly. [Heather Hopkins – Hitwise UK: Google Book Search Drives Visits to Book Retailers and Attracts Low Income Seniors]

Incidentally, it is interesting to see the way in which Hitwise has been widely cited in current discussions about the web. The ability of aggregated management intelligence about traffic to cast a light on general trends and behaviors will be increasingly exploited in various ways.
This is a gap in our current understanding of library systems and services.

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