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CNN benefits most from Trump Presidency as traffic to US news websites declines 12.8 percent year-on-year

CNN was the primary recipient of traffic from "Trump" related keywords between April 2017 and April 2018. Total traffic to US news websites has declined year-on-year, however some organizations like CNN and Fox News have seen an increase in traffic.
by on 6th June 2018

Traffic to US news websites has declined 12.8 percent between April 2017 and April 2018, according to a new report published by competitive analysis firm SimilarWeb.

Despite a decline in traffic sector wide, “Trump” related keywords were the top contributing keywords for news organizations and accounted for 8.8 percent of all non-branded searches that landed on a news website.

Of all news organizations, CNN appears to have benefited most from Trump’s Presidency and was the destination of choice for 16.7% of “Trump” related searches.

Fox News, which is often deemed more sympathetic to the Trump Presidency, accounted for 2.1 percent of traffic from “Trump” related keywords and didn’t appear in the top 10 destinations for Trump keywords.

SimilarWeb collates data from a wide range of sources including internet service providers (ISPs). It also relies on direct measurement and public data sources. Its data provides a rough approximation on total visits across all channels to millions of websites.

Its latest report signifies that traffic to The New York Times has declined by roughly 13 million visits year-on-year, while traffic to The Washington Post has declined by 10 million visits over the same period.

Broadcasters like CNN and Fox News have increased traffic levels by approximately 12 million and 25 million visits. Total traffic to CNN and Fox News is approximately 405 million and 286 million visits per month respectively.

Despite increases in traffic, a recent analysis by Indivigital found that CNN attracted more “sad” reactions from Facebook users than any other news organization. Meanwhile Fox News and CNN were 1st and 2nd for total “angry” reactions.

USA Today, which recently began redirecting all EU IP addresses to a dedicated subdomain on its website, increased traffic from 92 million visits per month to 115 million visits.

The total decline in traffic to news websites could be attributed to a range of factors. According to a recent report by Shareaholic, total referral traffic from Facebook to 250,000 websites declined from 30.90 percent in 2016 to 18.16 percent in 2017.

Moreover, Facebook has recently instituted a swathe of changes designed to prioritize “meaningful interactions” over “passive consumption” of content and local news content over national news content in its News Feed.

SimilarWeb’s analysis signifies that total referral traffic from Facebook declined from 5 percent in 2017 to 3.3 percent in 2018. Reddit was the second biggest contributor of traffic to news websites, however its contribution declined from 2.8 percent to 2.6 percent over the same period.

Meanwhile, organic traffic contributed 21 percent of total traffic to news organizations’ websites and was the second biggest contributing source overall, behind “direct” traffic (which can consist of a browser type-in or clicking on a bookmark).

The report states that 48 percent of organic traffic was branded, which means it originated from queries that contain the news organizations’ brand name.

While “Trump” related keywords drove more traffic than any other keyword group, “Hurricane” and “iPhone” keywords were 2nd and 3rd respectively, with each accounting for roughly 2 percent of searches.

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