June Widget Statistics

Jun 19, 2007

In April we published the first-ever widget statistics. Comscore recently followed suit and released their own set of widget metrix. There are large differences in what we are attempting to measure. They are looking at unique visitors, here at Lijit we are looking at publisher adoption. They are looking at social networks, we are looking at blogs. They consider only Flash widgets, we also look at JavaScript.

These statistics are based on a crawl of 29,139 blogs during the week of June 5th. Our definition of “widget” is any regularly-occurring functionality on a blog powered by an external service, voluntarily installed by the blog owner, and powered by Flash or Javascript.

  • “Functionality” includes analytics widgets. These add functionality for the blogger but are invisible to visitors.
  • “Regularly occurring” excludes widgets embedded in posts, such as YouTube and Dailymotion videos. (We do collect statistics on these, however. The final chart of this post shows the results.) Widgets that occur on all posts, such as the “Digg this” widget, are included.
  • “Voluntarily” excludes widgets added by the blog hosting platform. We are only interested in widgets that bloggers make an effort to install.
  • Image-based badges, such as FeedBurner subscriber counts, are not counted. HTML forms, such as the original Google search boxes, are also not counted. We may include support for these in the future.

As before, this crawl was “centered” on blogs with our Lijit widget. Or as we call it, the Wijit. Our crawler then expanded outwards by following blogrolls. This may give a bias to the overall results. However comparing these results to our smaller sample set in April, this effect seems to be minimal.

Overall Popularity

Our first graph shows the top 50 widgets, ordered by the percentage of blogs which contain at least one widget from the provider. Once again we see the classic power-curve (aka long tail) shape, with Google the clear leader.


The overall percentages are lower than in our last report. My best guess is that this is due to the larger scope of this crawl. As we venture futher from Lijit users, we encounter more un-widgeted blogs.

PayPerPost.com does not officially appear in this list. However, some detective work showed that they wrap all of their widget placements behind a Tinyurl address. Tinyurl.com doesn’t provide a widget of their own, but is merely a service redirect to other URLs. It is not clear why PayPerPost would pursue this strategy other than to obscure the face that a particular blog is a member of the PayPerPost service. PayPerPost tracking widgets appear on 1% of all blogs.

Popularity by Type

Many widgets provide similar functionality. The following graph shows the popularity of each type of widget.


As we saw last time, analytics widgets are the most popular with advertising in second place. Bloggers clearly want to know about their readers, even more than they want to monetize those readers! The “Social Network” type is dominated by MyBlogLog. Similarly, Twitter is the only entrant in the “Microblogging” category.

Within each vertical we can examine the breakdown between the competing widget providers. Note that each pie graph represents the percentage widget distribution among all widget objects from the vertical. Contrast this with the numbers below each chart which show the percentage widget distribution among all blogs which contain a widget from the vertical. This distinction is important because many blogs will use use multiple widgets of the same type. This is especially clear for advertising widgets where 90% of all blogs with ads use at least one AdWords widget, yet the AdWords widget accounts for only 75% of all advertising widgets found. The degree of overlap can be estimated by how far the percentage totals go over 100%. For example, we can see that 43% of analytics widgets do not appear alone.

Analytics

1 google-analytics.com 49.48%
2 sitemeter.com 39.03%
3 statcounter.com 24.52%
4 feedburner.com 12.78%
5 quantserve.com 5.18%
6 performancing.com 1.95%
7 hittail.com 1.92%
8 bravenet.com 1.67%
9 blogflux.com 1.64%
10 reinvigorate.net 1.24%
11 getclicky.com 1.12%
12 103bees.com 1.03%
13 measuremap.com 0.92%
14 histats.com 0.82%
143.30%

Advertising

1 googlesyndication.com 89.22%
2 blogads.com 15.07%
3 adbrite.com 4.34%
4 fmpub.net 1.99%
5 doubleclick.net 1.78%
6 chitika.net 1.54%
7 glam.com 0.99%
8 b5media.com 0.19%
115.12%

Search

1 snap.com 60.06%
2 lijit.com 11.53%
3 google.com/coop 10.26%
4 google.com 8.39%
5 eurekster.com 6.12%
6 sphere.com 6.07%
7 blogbar.org 5.31%
107.74%

Trackbacks

1 technorati.com 86.00%
2 haloscan.com 22.50%
3 wholinked.com 2.33%
110.83%

Video

Video widgets do not strictly fall into our definition because they are not permanent fixtures on a blog like, for example, a blogroll widget. However, we did capture statistics on the relative popularity of video widgets appearing on the front page of blogs we examined. YouTube is the clear winner here. This is interesting considering that YouTube did not show up at all in Comscore’s Widget Metrix.

1 youtube.com 92.99%
2 video.google.com 8.41%
3 dailymotion.com 5.24%
4 blip.tv 2.22%
108.86%

Action Photos

As you can see here, Lijit uses only the latest in technology when crawling blogs and compiling widget statistics.

Stay tuned and subscribe for the next round of widget stats coming soon.

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