If you’re here, you’re wondering just how influential Alex On Autos is. Because AOA is a very different kind of automotive outlet, this will take some explaining.
Our mission has always been, and will continue to be consumer-focused new car reviews. Alex On Autos does not feature news or editorials, nor do we engage in “click bait” style posts of top-ten lists. In addition to new car review videos AOA also produces detailed infotainment reviews and occasional videos explaining new drivetrain technologies.
Why are your Alexa numbers are so small?
The answer is simple: we’re a video outlet. This website accounts for 1% of our monthly traffic and only exists as a place to host my email address, a searchable video library and this page you’re reading right now. Instead of looking at Alexa numbers, we need to look at YouTube statistics and then dig deeper.
Bots and why they are important
Bot traffic is unavoidable on the internet. Bots collect search information, bots drive news sites like Google.com/news, bots suck up stories for websites that specialize in a particular car model. Bots also collect stories for listing in clipping services, just like the one your PR department probably uses to see what the press are saying. According to Incapsula’s yearly bot traffic report, 40-50 percent of a large site’s traffic is not human.
What this means is that a site like Autlblog.com that gets 29 million views a month is really getting 17.4 million human views once you remove the bots, crawlers and clippers.
Meanwhile, YouTube’s metrics are different. Bot traffic is essentially non-existant and YouTube is aggressive in making view counts “true.” Because of this, a single user that views a video multiple times within a set time will only be counted as one view. It’s in YouTube’s best interest for view counts to be as low as possible since they pay creators like Alex On Autos based on advertising impression.
OK, you don’t have bots, but your traffic is still so small!
A site like Autoblog undoubtedly gets more “eyeballs” daily than Alex On Autos, but what are those people viewing? According to metrics from Atmosphere Social, WordPress, and our own research, the answer may surprise you, but if you think about it longer it makes sense. News and editorial articles and pure home page hits without further clicks consume 90% of human traffic on the average car blog.
How is that possible? Just click over to Autoblog.com, Autoguide.com, Jalopnik.com, or even MotorTrend.com. How many stories are on the home page? 10? 20? How many are auto reviews? One? Autoblog tends to have two to three reviews posted per week, but in true BLOG style, they “fall off” the home page after a day. While the average auto review may outperform the average news post, news posts outnumber auto reviews 50:1 on Autoblog.com alone and many sites are even higher.
This goes back to what I said earlier, Alex On Autos does just reviews. If you exclude YouTube’s channel promotion video views (1%) from our numbers, this is how we stack up. 1.8-1.9 million auto reviews are watched monthly, vs an estimated 1.7 million auto reviews read on Autoblog. Smaller (but well known) sites like AutoGuide and AutoWeek get significantly less traffic.
OK, I get it. You’re all about reviews. But what does that mean to me and my PR team?
The answer is simple: exposure. On a blog like Autoblog, peak views happen the day the review is posted and sharply decline afterward. Why? Because the review isn’t on the home page that’s getting a million hits a day anymore, it’s buried on some other page that the user would have to scroll through. Video is different. YouTube videos continue to perform for months and even years after the video went live. Much of this has to do with the way consumers search for video, but whatever the reason here’s the result.
As you can see, Autoblog blows Alex On Autos out of the water the first day a car review is posted. With an estimated 20,000 hits the XC90 got four times the views the first day. But what happens when that story falls off the main page? By the end of the first month, AoA had three times the number of views, by the end of the year that gap had grown to five times.
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