Newspaper Blog Traffic Tripled in Past Year

Article excerpt

Byline: Kara Rowland, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Internet traffic to blogs on the top 10 newspaper Web sites more than tripled in the past year, according to a survey released yesterday by market research firm Nielsen/NetRatings.

The number of unique visitors to the most popular newspaper blogs climbed to 3.8 million last month, compared with 1.2 million in December 2005. Readers of newspaper blogs also took up a larger slice of total visitors to those sites, up to 13 percent of total traffic from 4 percent a year ago.

Overall unique visitors to newspaper sites climbed 9 percent to 29.9 million.

A unique visitor is anyone who visited a site at least once during the month of December. Multiple visits by the same person don't count.

Some of the surge in readers of newspaper blogs is because of the addition of blogs to newspaper sites since December 2005, a sign that traditional print media are adapting content to appeal to online consumers, analysts say.

"Newspapers have no choice - they've got to make their presence felt in ways besides dead tree," said John Morton, a newspaper analyst and president of Morton Research Inc. in Silver Spring. "The question is the balance that newspapers are going to have to maintain between their print model and their Internet model."

As print circulation continues to plummet at dailies across the country, newspapers have been racing to boost their online presence to attract readers who might go elsewhere for their news. …