Gawker's Latest Trendy Web Metric: 'Branded Traffic'

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Gawker Media has found the latest trendy web stat: “branded traffic.”

Unlike pageviews and uniques, “branded traffic” measures direct type-in visits (setting into the browser bar) and site-specific Google searches (Googling “Gizmodo,” for example). These stats tell Gawker and their advertisers who chooses to visit their sites regularly as opposed to stumbling across an individual story that day via Twitter or an RSS reader.

According to Gawker, branded traffic “illuminates a publisher’s true following.”

These recurring visitors weave content engagement and advertising ROI into our communities. 

And consequently, this core readership is the audience segment for whom a publisher’s halo is brightest and for whom brand marketing is most effective.

In 2009, 360 million users reached Gawker by either typing in the address or searching for the site, Gawker Media said on its site. That’s a third of the site’s audience.

Using branded traffic as a statistic is just the latest of Gawker Media’s metric efforts to better appeal to advertisers–and a wider national audience. Early this year, the site’s Nick Denton switched his focus from pageviews to unique visitors.  In a memo posted by The Awl, Denton said that advertisers use the unique visitor stat (the favourite among online advertisers) to “decide which sites they will shower with dollars.”

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