The Stats Don’t Lie: Almost 20 Years Later, The Drudge Report is Still the Top News Aggregator

It is one of the oldest and most popular sources for online news, and remains an important media fixture for reporting top stories from America and across the globe. It was the first news source to break the Monica Lewinsky scandal. It is also the longest-running online news aggregate. We’ve written about it before, because the history of this news source – and its influence in the world of online news – is impressive by any measure.

Since its creation in 1996, the Drudge Report has become the go-to source for the hottest news stories and current events. The site is primarily composed of a compilation of links to important news stories. Original content is rarely featured, but the quality of stories collected on the site set the Drudge apart from other online news aggregates.

Nearly 20 years later, the Drudge Report is still going strong. We took a look at the website’s stats in order to get a clearer picture of just how successful this veteran news aggregate really is in terms of website performance and audience engagement.

 

The Drudge Report Ranks in as an Industry Leader

The Drudgereport.com is #306 in terms of global website rank. Considering there are millions of websites out there, this is an impressively high rank. The website ranks at 66th place in the United States, and is 42nd in the News & Media category. For all News & Media related websites in the United States, the Drudge Report is among the top 15 websites leading the category (ranking in at #12).

the drudge report top news and media

Traffic and Engagement Stats are Through the Roof

The Drudge Report commands serious amounts of website traffic, with 406M desktop visits generated between January through July of 2015. That’s 58M visits a month, and it’s a stable, steady influx of traffic.

But the really impressive numbers are found when we look at engagement stats. Average site duration for the Drudge Report is a whopping 37 minutes. The industry average is just 2.5 minutes.  Meanwhile the average number of pages viewed per visit to the Drudge Report is 9.91 pages, while the industry average is only 2.76. Then there’s the bounce rate, with the Drudge Report boasting a 43.15% bounce rate as compared to the 64.42% industry average. (Industry averages are worldwide, taken from July 2015).

Visit duration and average pages per visit remained stable throughout 2015. Meanwhile, bounce rate for the Drudge is gradually decreasing, from 45% in January 2015 to 40% in July 2015. This indicates that the Drudge is creating engaging content that is increasingly appealing to their target audience.

The Drudge Report is one of the only websites in the News & Media category with such a strong percentage of visits from direct traffic (89.89%).  On average websites in the News & Media traffic receive just 43% of their traffic from direct visits. Furthermore the site hardly uses any display ads or PPC campaigns to drive this stable traffic.

the drudge report bounce rate

 

The Drudge Report is one of the only websites in the News & Media category with such a strong percentage of visits from direct traffic (89.89%).  Furthermore the site hardly uses any display ads or PPC campaigns to drive this stable traffic. On average websites in the News & Media traffic receive 43% of their traffic from direct visits.drudgetrafficsources

 

The Drudge Report is a Top Referrer to Leading News Sites

The Drudge is also a leading referrer to sites in the news industry, sending a substantial amount of traffic to top websites in the News & Media Category. Between January and July of 2015, the news aggregator sent 790.5M outgoing visits to 3,262 domains.

DRUDGEREPORTOUTGOINGLINKS

 

To fully appreciate the real weight of Drudge Report, here’s a list of big name publishers and the amount of traffic they receive from the Drudge Report in the form of outgoing links. As this list clearly illustrates, the Drudge Report is a massive referrer to some of the biggest names in the business.

drudgereferrals

Also Leading on the Mobile Web

The news aggregator is also doing well on the mobile web. A hefty 38% of the site’s visitors in 2015 came to the Drudge Report from their mobile devices.

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The Drudge is Killing it in the Mobile App Economy

The incredibly lucrative mobile app market is still in it’s infancy, and many websites struggle to fully optimize their apps. But this doesn’t seem to be a problem for the Drudge Report, as they have several mobile apps for both iOS and Android.

Two the Drudge’s most successful Android apps are amongst the most used apps in their category (News & Media) in the U.S.

drudgeandroidappsuse

Some Sites Do Just Get Better with Age

It’s been almost two decades since the Drudge Report launched as a subscription-only email newsletter featuring the top stories from around the world. In that time, the Drudge Report has managed to successfully position itself as an industry leader, reaching all-time highs in terms of traffic stats and engagement levels. Given that their current performance seems to be gradually improving over time, it would seem that the Drudge report will continue to lead the News & Media category for years to come.

About the Author -

Ari is the Sr. Director of Corporate Marketing at SimilarWeb. He has spent the last decade in ad-tech working on the agency side of the business before jumping over to Kenshoo where he launched their marketing activities. He also led the marketing for Adquant, a Facebook ad platform, making it a top 10 Facebook PMD prior to its acquisition.

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