vs AccuWeather - Whether the Weather be Fine...
Research Intelligence vs AccuWeather – Whether the Weather be Fine…

November 8, 2017 | Updated June 22, 2022

Weather in 2017 is big news, overflowing from weather-specific sites and weather apps to flood the front pages of every news site. But when the winds die down and the waters recede, where do people go to get the information they need about the next big weather event or just to find the chance of a sunny weekend?

Here we look at the two biggest weather forecasting sites which together account for over 70% of traffic to all-weather sites in the US. In comparative terms, the category leader, is neck and neck with in monthly visits generating over 50% more traffic than either or

The site began as the online arm of The Weather Channel. The Weather Channel is now owned by a consortium of businesses including NBC/Universal while and the app Weather – The Weather Channel remain the property of the original parent company, The Weather Company. In 2016, The Weather Company was sold to IBM.

AccuWeather began life as a service that provided forecasting services to broadcasters and news organizations before going online as and eventually launching The AccuWeather Network and The Local AccuWeather Channel in 56 markets around the US. The company also operates the AccuWeather with Superior Accuracy™ app for Android devices.

Even as these two sites stand clearly at the head of their category they exhibit different digital strategies. While focuses heavily on mobile web traffic and optimization of that traffic through search, reaches many more people with its mobile app and gets its mobile web traffic from referrals rather than search engine optimization.

Looking at mobile and desktop traffic together, outperforms by almost two to one. But the share of traffic to each platform is wildly different. Around 92% of all traffic to comes from mobile rather than desktop. For the share is almost even with mobile ahead of desktop by less than 1%. In absolute volume terms, gets more desktop traffic than

App-wise the situation is reversed with Weather – The Weather Channel installed on 10.7% of Android devices in the US over the past six months and AccuWeather with Superior Accuracy™ found on 3.5%. vs AccuWeather – Traffic from Referrals

Focusing on the mobile web strategies of the two sites reveals some more significant differences between the brands. Since February of 2016, has increased the amount of its mobile web traffic coming from referrals from 5.6M visits in a month to over 58M visits in October 2017. Referrals now account for over 57% of mobile web traffic to Referrals are a far less significant source of traffic for despite increasing from 1.5% to 4.4% in the past six months. vs AccuWeather – Traffic from Search

When it comes to traffic from key search terms,’s performance points towards a well-defined and executed SEO strategy. Over 68% of searches for the keyword weather send traffic to over Other keywords including, local weather and nyc weather favor over by around three to one with the search term forecast over nine times more likely to drive traffic to Even searches for the weather channel which is part of’s branding, result in visits to over 40% of the time. It seems that’s focus on referral traffic means that the site has de-emphasized SEO for driving visits.

Both these weather forecasting powerhouses demonstrate a savvy digital presence competing on desktop, mobile web and with their apps for the attention of weather-obsessed consumers.

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