Overseas visitors outnumber locals on UK media sites

Unique visitors to UK media groups, April 2007. Source: comScore World Metrix

Many major UK media websites draw more than half of their unique visitors from offshore, according to web ratings service comScore, which reports:

…in April 2007 many of the UK’s largest traditional media sites attracted more visitors from overseas than from within the UK. comScore data revealed that online visitors from outside the UK outnumbered the domestic audience in the case of the BBC, the Guardian, the Telegraph, the Times, the Independent, the Daily Mail, the Mirror and the Financial Times.

This isn’t too surprising to me, especially when those UK brands are so well-known. When I was at nzherald.co.nz, we also drew well over half our visitors from outside New Zealand. But it’s important to remember that we’re talking about unique visitors — many of whom came to our site via search engines or news aggregators such as the Drudge Report or Slashdot. Such readers tended to look at very few pages. Most page impressions, however, were delivered to local readers — people with a deeper and broader interest in the news we published.

There are a couple of challenges for websites that draw a substantial portion of their traffic from offshore:

  • providing international bandwidth [which in New Zealand was far more expensive than domestic]
  • selling and geo-targeting ads to be seen by offshore readers [unless domestic advertisers are happy to pay for international impressions, and this certainly happens]

Design an Olympics logo

Olympics 2012 logo

Unimpressed by the logo [above] for the 2012 London Olympics unveiled this week? You’re not alone.

The BBC website has a number of alternatives, submitted by its readers, including some very nice work.

If you’d like to try your hand, you might ponder this advice from Seth Godin:

If you’re given the task of finding a logo for an organization, your first task should be to try to get someone else to do it. If you fail at that, find an abstract image that is clean and simple and carries very little meaning–until your brand adds that meaning. It’s not a popularity contest. Or a job for a committee. It’s not something where you should run it by a focus group. It’s just a placeholder, a label waiting to earn some meaning.

No word on whether the existing London 2012 design could be replaced if enough people don’t like it.