The Power of Yahoo!…TBO’s Story about Wii-Playing Police Officers Leads to a 2.8 Million Page View Day

September 28, 2009 at 4:30 PM Leave a comment

On September 22nd, TBO published a story about undercover Polk County police officers who were supposed to be doing a search on a drug dealers house, but instead played a few rounds of “Wii Sports” – all of which was caught on video obtained by WFLA.

This story was linked on the front page of Yahoo!, and page views went through the roof!   That story generated almost 1.9 million page views alone, and the whole TBO website ended up with nearly 2.8 million page views in total.

In fact, this was the 4th highest page view day has experienced in the past 5 years!

Top 10 Page View Days (2004-2009)


Date Page Views
Aug 12, 2004 4,707,905
Aug 13, 2004 4,561,718
Sep 2, 2004 3,254,471
Sep 22, 2009 2,788,024
Aug 18, 2008 2,750,383
Jun 12, 2006 2,586,687
Sep 10, 2004 2,545,157
Sep 9, 2004 2,506,707
Sep 1, 2004 2,256,723

All of this serves to illustrate the power of TBO’s partnership with a huge national search provider like Yahoo! On that September day, TBO received  about 90% of its page views from Yahoo! as a referrer.  On a typical day, TBO will get about 27% of its page views from Yahoo!

One could argue, is this a benefit to a local news site like TBO?  After all, a great many of those increased page views and uniques that day came from outside of our core Tampa Bay market. 

Personally, I disagree with this logic for several reasons.  One, highlighting our story on the Yahoo! home page will still lead to increased local website visitors.  For example, on the 22nd, TBO had 92,000 visitors with IP addresses listed in the Tampa-St. Peterburg DMA.  The week before, TBO had about 70,000 DMA visitors.  So, the Yahoo boosted our local visitors by 22,000 (about 31%).

Secondly, one of the main benefits of having a website is the ability to broaden your market reach.  My television station and my newspaper will never reach beyond the ten county DMA that defines Tampa Bay.  But with the web, TBO has the opportunity to reach users in every corner of the world.  Even though our news coverage is undoubtedly Tampa-centric, users anywhere could be interested in the stories our reporters have to tell. By discounting those users outside our DMA, I think we do ourselves a disservice. 

What do you think?  Should a local news website provider focus in only on the page views and unique users that come from their core DMA?  Or should the focus be on the worldwide audience?

Source: Omniture SiteCatalyst


*** Edit Added September 29, 2009 ****

Someone forwarded me this screenshot today where this exact story is now being featured on the Yahoo! Japan home page!  As fascinating as it is to see our TBO screen shot amid all the Japanese, I think this further makes my point about the global nature of websites – even a local news oriented website like  In fact, this Yahoo! Japan website is the top referring website for TBO today, sending us over 12% of our referred page views today.

Yahoo Japan


Entry filed under: Online.

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