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Posts Tagged ‘web analytics’

StumbleUpon = Worthless Traffic

August 29, 2008 2 comments

Every few weeks or so one of my sites gets an onslaught of traffic from StumbleUpon. Though it’s always fun to see a huge surge in traffic the truth is the traffic from StumbleUpon is worthless.  In general web visitors are quick to click but when those visitors originate from StumbleUpon they’re supercharged!  

As proof, on a given day for Bizak I received 585 visitors from StumbleUpon – those visitors averaged 1.11 pages per visit and averaged only 6 seconds on the site.  In comparison this blog sent Bizak 87 visitors who averaged 5.43 pages/visit and over 8 minutes on the site.  

I’ll take less, but more qualified, traffic any day of the week.  StumbleUpon just proves the point that more traffic doesn’t always mean better. If you can’t monetize that traffic and if you don’t know who your visitors are then they’re nothing more than inflated statistics.

Google’s Keyword Tool vs. Wordtracker

August 25, 2008 1 comment

I was finally able to spend some time on Google’s new keyword tool and all I can say is, “it’s about time”!   Before the new tool I’ve always used Wordtracker for my keyword research and something tells me I’ll be letting my subscription expire.  My biggest question has always been about the accuracy of other services like Wordtracker.  Are their numbers really indicative of search queries on Google?  Well my assumption now is no.  I did a handful of keyword searches on both and the difference between the two are significant.  For every keyword Google’s numbers were considerable higher then what Wordtracker predicted.  Here are my results:     

Note:  Google’s numbers are for July searches.  Wordtracker gives a daily keyword search prediction.  To come to a monthly estimate (for Wordtracker) I multiplied the daily number by 31 days in July.  Their monthly prediction is probably different than my results but either way they’re not even close.

Comparative Analysis, Web Analytics, Financials & Benchmarks

Last evening, in addition to infoMedMD, we at TOKiBiz also launched the industry benchmarks for Bizak.com

If you’re already registered with Bizak just login and you’ll see a nice new navigation bar for you.  If you haven’t registered with Bizak you can do see via the website worth page.

For additional information and definitions about the benchmarks please click on the image below.  For a full size screenshot please see full size screenshot.

 

Benchmarks

Benchmarks

The Political Web: Barack Obama vs. John McCain

June 24, 2008 9 comments

To date Barack Obama has raised a whopping $296 million for his presidential campaign. Much of Obama’s fundraising success is due in large part to a fantastic website, a dominate internet presence and the viral marketing efforts of his supporters via blogs, links, content and of course YouTube.

For John McCain his fundraising efforts are 143% lower than Obama’s at $122 million. McCain’s web presence comes in a distant second (comared to Obama) in every category.

Below are a number of web analytics which compare the candidates’ online saturation. When it comes to web analytics Barack Obama crushes John McCain in every category.

Google Results (Winner: Barack Obama)

When performing a search for Barack Obama on Google you’ll find 54,900,000 pages that at least mention the presidential candidate. The same search for John McCain brings up 37,600,000 pages. Impressive for Barack since he was relatively unknown before 2004 whereas John McCain has been a senator since 1987 and ran for president in 2000

Google Results for Barack Obama & John McCain

YouTube Videos (Winner: Barack Obama)

This election is the first presidential election of the YouTube generation and to date there are 130,000 videos about (or talk about/mention) Barack Obama whereas just 39,400 YouTube videos focus on John McCain. Of course there is no way to tell if these videos are for or against a particular candidate but one thing is certain and that is more people are talking, writing, blogging, and recording Barack Obama.

Barack Obama & John McCain YouTube Videos

Site Lookup – Google (Winner: Barack Obama)

A site lookup determines the number of pages indexed for a particular website on a search engine such as Google. Doing a site lookup (on Google) for BarackObama.com we see that Barack has 889,000 pages indexed. Compare that to JohnMcCain.com and we see that Obama has far more online content – McCain has 30,400 pages. Generally speaking the more pages a website has the more search traffic that website will receive. If optimized (called SEO) then more pages means more opportunities to be found online. If internet visitors are going to your site then you can craft your message exactly the way you want – not the way your competitor wants it.

BarackObama.com is a terrific website built in Web 2.0 fashion with social networking tools embedded into it. As we know BarackObama.com has raised a significant amount of money from small donations via the website. My guess is that the 889,000 pages indexed and the Web 2.0 features of BarackObama.com have a lot to do with Barack’s financial success.

Number of Pages Indexed for Barack Obama & John McCain

InLinks – Yahoo (Winner: Barack Obama)

Inlinks (or inbound links) are the number of outside links pointing to your website. Inlinks are very important in determining a website’s search engine placement and therefore search traffic. Google’s original algorithium relied heavily on the quality of inbound links and based on this created the PageRank. PageRank (which had more pull a few years ago) measures the quality of a website in the range of 0 to 10. Both BarackObama.com and JohnMcCain.com have a PageRank of 7.

In the case of Barack Obama and John McCain you can infer the popularity of a particular candidate by the number of websites linking to it – in essence it can be seen as a recommendation. With that BarackObama.com has 60,801 links pointing to it and JohnMcCain.com has 21,905.

Both stats are from Yahoo which is more reliable than Google in determining inlinks.

Inbound links to BarackObama.com and JohnMcCain.com

Google Blog Search (Winner: Barack Obama)

Blogs have become a tremendous political force. Both candidates maintain a blog (Obama, McCain) but more importantly millions of Americans have a blog and now a voice. Bloggers have more influence than ever and some are arguable as influential as The Washington Post and The New York Times. With every election a new form of media has emerged forcing a candidate to adapt. In 2004 blogs showed their influence for the first time and this year video is a the new major player – now we have video and blogs!

So, one more way to measure the online success of a potential candidate is the number of blog posts about a particular candidate. In essence it measures what people are talking about, what people are thinking about and who they’re voting for. Once again Barack Obama has a commanding online presence over John McCain with 7,367,910 posts about him and only 4,242,637 blog posts about John McCain.

Blog Search - Barack Obama & John McCain

Keyword Searches (Winner: Barack Obama)

According to Wordtracker, the keyword “Barack Obama” is searched for 7,682 times per day. “John McCain” sees 4,392 daily searches. This means when people go to Google (and search for a candidate) they are searching for Barack Obama 75% more than John McCain. These numbers only include both candidates’ full name – there are hundreds of variations that people are also searching for. For instance, if you do a search for just the candidates last name then Obama is searched for 9,643 times/day and McCain 1,122 times per day.

Daily Keyword Searches for Barack Obama & John McCain

People Count (Winner: Barack Obama)

According to Compete.com, BarackObama.com received 1,568,981 visitors in May 2008 compared to JohnMcCain.com which received 424,214 visitors. Both candidates (Barack 3 million and McCain 1 million) saw a huge spike in traffic in February 2008 thanks to Super Tuesday.

Barack Obama vs. John McCain Internet Traffic, Visitors, People Count

BarackObama.com

This data goes back to January, but I couldn’t write a piece about website earnings without computing the business valuation of a website’s earnings. In January Barack Obama raised $32 million, of which $28 million came from online donations. According to Techcrunch, over 250,000 individuals made donations of which 90% of those were under $100.

Barack Obama\'s Website Earnings & ValuationAccording to the Compete.com graph (above) BarackObama.com received around 3 million visitors in January 2008. Like I value a websites’ worth on this blog and on Bizak.com, I will attempt to do the same with BarackObama.com. Entering these numbers into the Bizak Business Valuation Calculator (and assuming no costs) you get a whopping $9.33 earnings per visitor (EPV). This means on average Barack Obama earns $9.33 for every person who visits his website. Internet powerhouses like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, & Myspace wish they had a $9.33 EPV. If BarackObama.com was an internet site making $30 million/month then they would have a valuation of $1.344 Billion!!

Summary

When it comes to internet marketing Barack Obama is far ahead of John McCain. Unfortunately, I can’t compare The Political Web for Bush vs. Kerry in 2004 so it remains to be seen if a dominate web presence converts into the presidency. What we do know is George Bush had only 35 electoral votes and 3,012,166 popular votes more than John Kerry in 2004. Both candidates had roughly the same amount of funds – at this time in 2004 John Kerry had accumulated $186.2 million. At the time this was 5x more than any previous democrat had raised. That was of course before Barack Obama who so far (with 4 full months remaining) has raised $296 million compared to John McCain’s $122 million. This equates to a 143% difference in funds. In 2004 George Bush had only 13% ($41 million) more dollars than Kerry, but only captured 2% more of the popular vote.

Web Comparison of Barack Obama vs. John McCain

Types of Internet Startups & Websites

The current breakdown of the types of internet startups listed on Bizak.com.

Types of Internet Startups & Websites

Monetizing YouTube

June 4, 2008 10 comments

YouTube LogoEarly this week YouTube’s Head of Monetization quits the company to work at a smaller company that presumable might be easier to monetize. Since Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) purchased YouTube for $1.65 Billion in October 2006 the issue of monetizing video content has been a major issue for the company. Even though YouTube has yet to become a cash cow for Google it has become an online phenomenon and traffic powerhouse. According to Compete.com YouTube has captured a 50.4% market share of the online video market. That equates to a market share increase of 2.4% from March 2008 and 12.3% when compared to April 2007.

In terms of market share Google blows away the competition with the closest competitors being Yahoo and Fox Interactive Media which each have less than 10% of the market according to Compete.com. However even with 64 million monthly visitors (source comptete.com) YouTube is having trouble converting these videos (and eyeballs) into dollar signs. The much smaller video site Hulu.com seems to be doing a much better job monetizing their content with revenue estimates of $25 million on less than 1% of the market.

YouTube Revenue Valuation Based on Zero Costs

YouTube Revenue Valuation Based on Zero Costs

Bear Stearns estimates that 2008 revenues for YouTube will be $90 million, of which $22 million comes from InVideo advertisements. Using the Bizak Business Valuation Calculator (right) we can get a rough estimate of YouTube’s revenue valuation and EPV (Earnings per Visitor), which is the amount of money earned from each visitor to the site.

If you divide the yearly revenues by 12 you get a rough monthly revenue estimate of $7.5 million. We then enter these numbers into the calculator. At this point we’re assuming YouTube has zero costs but in actuality we know this to be false. We’ll factor in the enormous bandwidth costs of video hosting in the next section.

Based on the Bizak calculations YouTube has an EPV of $0.12 and a Bizak Estimate (business valuation estimate based on revenues) of $360 Million. This valuation is obviously a lot less than the $1.65 Billion Google paid for YouTube, however YouTube is a premium brand that must be (and was) factored into the purchase price.

YouTube Revenue Valuation Including Costs

YouTube Revenue Valuation Including CostsBack in July 2006 it was estimated that YouTube’s bandwidth costs were $1 million per month, which was based on 12.9 million visitors per month. Today (according to Compete.com) YouTube receives 64 million monthly visitors which is 3.5 times the amount it saw in 2006. If you estimate YouTube’s monthly costs on my very unscientific method that would mean their bandwidth costs them $3.5 million dollars every month.

Entering these calculations into the business valuation calculator gives you some major changes to the estimates. First off YouTube’s EPV has been cut in half to just $0.06 per visitor. This means that YouTube earns just six cents for ever visitor who goes to the site – this number is very low. The Bizak Estimate has also dipped to $318,000,000 compared to the $360,000,000 above and $1.65 Billion purchase price.

Hulu Estimated Revenues, Costs & Earnings

Hulu.com Estimates

If you remember Hulu.com makes $25 Million in revenues per year on just 821,899 monthly visitors, according to Compete.com. If you compute these estimates (without costs) into the Bizak Calculator you get an EPV of $2.53 and a Bizak Estimate of $99,999,984. This Hulu.com EPV (excluding costs) is comparable to YouTube’s $0.12 EPV. Lets factor in costs since they too host video which is costly. We’ll error on the high end and estimate that it costs Hulu $1 Million a month ($12 Million/Year) to host their videos. Even with these costs Hulu does a better job monetizing their platform with an EPV of $1.32 compared to YouTube’s $0.06 EPV.

CPV – Costs per Visitor

The YouTube calculation (after costs) has monthly earnings of $4 Million and a CPV (costs per visitor) of $0.06. For ever visitor to the site YouTube spends 6 cents in the form of server costs rather than advertising. With Hulu their CPV is much higher at $1.21 with earnings of over $1 million per month. (Both of these estimates are based on costs estimates which could be higher or lower than actual costs.)

Forbes YouTube Revenue Estimates

Forbes YouTube Revenue Estimates

The calculations above are based on the Bear Stearns revenue estimate of $90 million. Forbes estimates that YouTube will bring in $200 million in revenues for 2008. Plugging those estimates into the business calculator we get an EPV of $0.21 and a Bizak Estimate of $758,000,016 – considerable better than the $0.06 EPV and $318 million valuation (on $90 million revenues) but lower than the $1.65 billion purchase price.

YouTube EPV of $0.50 = $1.65 Billion Purchase Price

Based on all the estimates outlined above (and they are estimates) YouTube needs to earn fifty cents for every 64 million people who visit the site monthly in order to have a $1.65 billion valuation. An EPV of $0.50 equates to monthly revenues of $35,300,000 ($423,600,000 yearly revenues) which then give them a valuation (according to the Bizak business valuation calculator) equal to their purchase price.

YouTube EPV of $0.50 = $1.65 Purchase Price

Monetizing YouTube

YouTube currently generates about a quarter ($22 million) of its revenues from InVideo Advertisements. The remainder of their sales come from front page ads ($175,000/day) and branded YouTube channels which go for $200,000 each. If YouTube was only concerned about dollars they could easily expand their InVideo Ads, however this would definitely hurt their market share. Clearly Google and YouTube are treading lightly.

The InVideo Ads are very unobtrusive but I find them ineffective. I go to YouTube to watch videos, not to click on text ads. Text ads are for Google.com. YouTube is for videos. I have no problem watching advertisements as long as they are in video format.

The other 75% of YouTube’s revenues come from corporate partnerships and advertising from deep pocket companies. This is definitely essential for revenues, however I feel YouTube is shutting out the small business owners and individuals who would pay for better placement of their videos. Adwords didn’t generate billions for Google by focusing only on big business. Rather Google Adwords allows anyone with a website to place a text ad on their site. Why can’t I do the same with my videos?

We’re all familiar with the right hand column of Google that’s reserved for sponsored advertisements. Google is about textual content and so are these ads – they fit. Since I go to YouTube for video why can’t I bid my video to be placed along this familiar right hand column? Except this time on YouTube and instead of small text ads it’s a small picture of my video. As a small business owner who relies on internet traffic I would be more than willing to pay extra to have my video be seen by more people. Users would still have the option to upload videos for free but now they would also have the option to pay for additional exposure.

If only 5% of the 46 million monthly visitors opt to use this service then that equates to over 2 million people per month. If they average a monthly advertising budget of just $50 then that’s an additional $100 million+ per month. That’s a lot more than the big boys are currently generating for YouTube.

Web Metrics – Earnings per Visitor (EPV)

In my opinion earnings per visitor (EPV) is one of the most important metrics when valuing an internet startup. EPV tells you exactly how much money you make (or lose) for every individual visitor to your website. If your EPV is only $0.03 but you’re spending considerable more for marketing (CPV) then your budget will eventually run dry.

EPV is a powerful metric because it helps you determine the cost effectiveness of marketing campaigns. If you’re spending $500 to receive 1,000 visitors then your costs per visitor (CPV) for this campaign is $0.50. If your EPV is considerable less than $0.50 then you’re losing a considerable amount of money on advertising. If you’re EPV is considerable more than $0.50 then you’re receiving a bargain on marketing costs.

Knowing your EPV and CPV enables you to compare costs per click for traffic from Google Adwords and/or Online Marketing and determine which marketing campaign is more cost effective.

Below is a sample of EPVs for a select group of business types on Bizak

  • $0.03 Blogs
  • $4.92 Consulting Services
  • $0.02 Content Sites
  • $0.82 E-Commerce
  • $1.90 E-Learning
  • $0.01 Mapping
  • ($0.02) Photo Sharing