Facebook Algo Change Hits Online Political Traffic

Guido predicted at the beginning of last year that the change to Facebook’s algorithms would impact online traffic dramtically for those websites that specialised in making content go viral to drive traffic. Taking a look at some of our rivals; one site that bucked the trend was ConservativeHome, the turmoil in the party has been good for their trade, with pageviews up by 13% on the year, although the number of unique users has fallen slightly, likely as a result of there being no general election in 2018. Guido is relieved to only be down 1.89% year-on-year, not so bad in an off election year. On the left it would seem that The Canary, which used to be neck and neck in traffic terms with Guido, finished the year much weaker. Is that because of Facebook or outrage fatigue?

The other sites impacted badly by the Facebook algo change were the newspapers’ websites. According to ABC figures Mail Online was down 16% year-on-year and Sun Online was down 12%. Guido understands that because of the New Statesman’s new semi-permeable paywall it too has seen an even more dramatic collapse in online traffic… 

Katie Hopkins Dumped By MailOnline

Press Gazette quotes a MailOnline spokesman:

“Katie’s contract was not renewed by mutual consent.”

Oh no, what a shame. Could be an exciting new hire for Russia Today…

Mail McDonnell Investigation Didn’t Have to Look Far

Today’s Daily Mail splashes on a story by its “Investigations Unit” apparently revealing that in 2013 John McDonnell called for “insurrection” and encouraged the overthrow of the government. At a speech at Goldsmiths university, McDonnell said:

“Parliamentary democracy doesn’t work for us. Elections don’t work for us… We used to call it insurrection. Now we’re polite and say it’s direct action. Let’s get back to calling it what it is. It’s insurrection.”

How far did the Mail’s fabled Investigations Unit have to look to find the scoop? Well, the exact same quote was reported by their colleagues at MailOnline only a few months ago during the election campaign. McDonnell was even forced to explain his comments at the time, saying:

“What I said was, in the old days we used to call it insurrection, now we call it direct action and demonstrations.”

In fact, “insurrection” is one of McDonnell’s favourite terms to rile up his comrades. As the Telegraph reported two years ago he used the word on the public record at least three times between 2010 and 2013. That’s a low estimate. We know papers are slower than their online rivals these days but this is pushing it a bit far…

French Plot to Wreck MailOnline

MailOnline is going French. The site is advertising for a French-speaking sub who can make “some of its showbiz and entertainment content available in French“. First job, translate Sunday’s splash. 

Who will speak for England?

Daily Mail Rips Into Guardian AND… MailOnline

The Daily Mail let rip in a truly epic full page leader by Tom Utley this morning, laying into the Guardian and distancing itself from its own Derry Street stablemate MailOnline. According to the Mail, MailOnline has “a very different worldview“:  

“Earlier this week, a Guardian writer attacked the Daily Mail for carrying comments by the controversialist Katie Hopkins. That was a lie. The Guardian and its writer know that Ms Hopkins has nothing to do with the Daily Mail, but works for Mail Online — a totally separate entity that has its own publisher, its own readership, different content and a very different world view.”

To be fair to the Mail, their leader is bang on about the Guardian and partly correct about MailOnline. The Mail and MailOnline have different audiences and a completely different flavour, and Katie Hopkins isn’t in the paper. But are they really “separate entities“? They may be in editorial structure and decision making, but they share a huge amount of content: a quick search shows at least 22 articles with Daily Mail bylines have appeared on MailOnline since midnight. The paper’s leader usually goes up on MailOnline, funnily enough it didn’t today…

Telegraph Advertising on MailOnline

The Telegraph‘s “premium” offering is struggling. Online ABCs for December released this week show average daily unique visitors down 13.2% year on year. This paywall induced fall means the Telegraph has now slipped behind the re-vamped Sun site, despite heavy investment in targeting a popular audience. Things are so bad that the Telegraph has taken to advertising on MailOnline. Although almost certainly programmatic, ironic to see a huge Telegraph banner plastered across the front of the world’s most visited news website…

Seen Elsewhere



Tip offs: 020 7193 4041
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Peter Mandelson tells Emma Barnett…

“I think that Jeremy Corbyn himself should search his conscience and ask himself whether he’s the best person to lead the Labour Party into the general election with the best chance of success for the party.”

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.