Publishers! Don’t give up the Second Click

Jan 30, 2008

Micah shot me an interesting article the other day. It is titled “The Fight for the Second Click“. It’s pretty interesting and predicts Google’s move into (more) media services in order to monetize the click that occurs after “the search”. Google clearly owns the first click and has managed to monetize it rather effectively. In order to continue the revenue ramp, they will be increasingly forced to own the second click.

I found this concept fascinating. At Lijit we know from watching reader behavior on our publishers’ sites that a huge percentage (33%-50%) of readers come from horizontal search (The Second Click).

Todd Stats Snapshot

We also know that the normal behavior of one of these readers is to read the article that Google referenced and then hit the back button. Reader gone, moment lost, second click wasted.

This is precisely why the Lijit Re-Search feature was added to the Lijit Search Wijit. When you have this feature turned on, Lijit hooks the reader into staying for a third click and beyond. Bottom line, you only get one click to keep to your readers around – do the most you can to mine that opportunity.

Re-Search activates when a reader enters your site from a horizontal search. When a reader types “Comcast tivo cablecard” into the Google box, many results are returned, perhaps thousands. If one of those results is a link to your publication (in this example, my personal blog) and that reader clicks it, they end up on your site and The Second Click has been executed.

Todd Search Results Snapshot

On a normal site without the Lijit Wijit installed it’s now a crap shoot as to what happens to that reader next. Statistically speaking the back button is most often the next click. By contrast, as the reader reads the reference article/post, Re-Search goes out and finds other articles/posts written by you on that same subject and offers them up in the Search Wijit. When the reader is done reading the reference article, there now exists the opportunity for you, the publisher, to own the third click – one of the other articles/posts on that subject.

Todd Re-Search Snapshot

Publishers! Maximize your second click, the one you own!

Why we bought BigSwerve

Jan 29, 2008

Since starting Lijit I have been living in the shoes of our blog publishers, trying to find new and cool ways to bring them value. Lijit provides awesome stats back to the publishers we serve, but primarily focused around visits and search. While those are important interactions, we were still missing something… Comments! When readers do comment, that’s an incredible wealth of information. And that’s when it clicked for me about how totally underutilized comments are and what they could really mean to publishers.

About six months ago I met Raj Bala. Raj’s company, BigSwerve, was building some really cool technology to crawl and index comments in the Blog-o-sphere. I was immediately excited to begin working with Raj and BigSwerve in order to bring even more value to Lijit’s publisher experience. Recently, Raj and I decided that it just made too much sense to pass up putting our two ideas together, which brings us to today and Lijit’s announcement about acquiring BigSwerve.

Among the interesting information locked in the Comment-o-sphere is influence relationships. When a comment is left on a blog or a site, it indicates a positive assertion of interest and focused attention. Lijit is all about the explicit and implicit networks that exist between publishers and readers. Lijit has always found innovative ways to uncover these relationships, for example following publishers’ blogrolls or using MyBlogLog community information, but now we can take this to the next level and get them from the comment layer of the Blog-o-sphere.

I’m pretty excited about the BigSwerve acquisition. Comments are a really important source of information. Look for more comment related news in the coming weeks.

So much stat goodness…

Dec 20, 2007

One of our goals here at Lijit is to offer our users more value-filled features with each release. We pushed a new release on Tuesday night and with it, have made our stats even more robust. There is so much analytical information that we had to change the entire layout of our stats display and we now offer tabs. That’s right…tabs and tabs of detailed information…

search-tabs.png

These tabs open the door to a whole world of interesting information about your blog. If you click on the Readers tab, you’ll see your page views and the list of search terms that brought people to your blog. The fancy new stuff on this page is a map that shows you where in the world your page views are coming from and in a partnership with AideRSS, the most popular posts.

new-map-and-top-posts.png

Look at that….even more information to help you better understand the people that are reading what you are producing. Todd Vernon, Lijit’s CEO and owner of the stats pictured, wrote a great post recently about the importance of Lijit stats and the picture they paint of your blog’s audience. Take some time to check out what we’ve done and let us know what you think.

 

In other release news, there are two other little additions that you should know about. We’ve added a cool link on our home page that takes you to the magic that is our Live Search Map. Now it’s even easier to enjoy the fun…

livesearchmap.png

 

And the last thing that we changed is a feature request that we had been hearing from users for a while. You now have the ability to pick the default search tab that your searchers will be sent to. Let me explain. In the past, if someone did a search from your blog, they landed on your blog’s search tab for the results. But if they were doing a search from the your Lijit profile page, then they landed on your network’s result page. This sometimes caused confusion. As of Tuesday night, you can choose where your readers will end up first. Click on “my search wijit” and scroll to where you see the drop-down menus to change your default search tab and where to display your search results. (The default will always be set to your blog.)

 

We hope that you enjoy the new updates and wish everyone a happy, healthy end of the year! Just wait to see what we have up our sleeves for 2008….

Where in the world is Lijit?

Nov 20, 2007

In our quest to continually enhance the stats that we provide to Lijit users, we’ve recently introduced a way to see where your searchers are coming from. Literally.

geostats 1

On your stats page, you’ll see a few new things. This map graphic shows you the location of the person doing the searching and what topic they were searching about. So if you wanted to know how much of your audience is made up of Romanians curious about your topic of expertise, you now have the tools to find that information out. Along with the map, we’ve also added some colorful flags to the 25 most recent searches list…

geostats2

So where in the world is Lijit? That depends on you and your blog’s audience. But thanks to our recent release, you now have the power to see your readers and get to know them even better.

Maintenance Outages 10/27 and 10/28…

Oct 27, 2007

During the evening of Saturday, October 27th, and the morning of Sunday, October 28th, Lijit will be unavailable due to maintenance activities. The maintenance activities on Saturday evening will begin at 9pm Mountain Time and should last no longer than an hour. The maintenance Sunday morning will begin at 9am and will take a little longer — around three hours. We’re sorry for the inconvenience, but once all of this work is done, Lijit will be stronger, faster, taller, better looking, and more fun to hang out with at parties.

Blog Widget Statistics for September 2007

Oct 16, 2007

It has been a while since the last widget statistics. But we have good news! Derek and Daniel have now automated the process and we will be running results on a weekly basis. Over time, this will give us a clear picture of the ebb and flow of widget popularity. Let us know if there are other statistics you would like included in these weekly runs.

Number of blogs examined: 48,189
Blogs with widget of any sort: 31,953
Total number of widget installations found: 247,121
Survey period: 9/26/2007 – 10/16/2007

Overall Popularity

Below are the top 50 widget providers, 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.

Wijit Stats

*Note that “tinyurl.com” is actually a cloaked reference to PayPerPost.com.

Popularity by Vertical

Below are the popularity of widgets within the top verticals. 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 92% of all blogs with ads use at least one AdWords widget, yet the AdWords widget accounts for only 83% of all advertising widgets found. The degree of overlap can be estimated by how far the percentage totals go over 100%. For example, in Analytics you can see that the percent total comes to 147%, indicating that 47% of Analytics widget appear with a competitor’s.

Analytics


Domain % of Blogs
1 google-analytics.com 62.27%
2 sitemeter.com 27.69%
3 statcounter.com 19.70%
4 feedburner.com 16.04%
5 quantserve.com 9.30%
6 hittail.com 2.06%
7 getclicky.com 1.56%
8 reinvigorate.net 1.44%
9 blogflux.com 1.44%
10 performancing.com 1.37%
11 bravenet.com 1.32%
12 103bees.com 1.14%
13 histats.com 1.02%
14 measuremap.com 0.68%
147.03%

Advertising


Domain % of Blogs
1 googlesyndication.com 91.50%
2 blogads.com 9.25%
3 adbrite.com 3.90%
4 doubleclick.net 2.23%
5 fmpub.net 1.81%
6 glam.com 0.74%
109.43

Search


Domain % of Blogs
1 snap.com 0.51
2 lijit.com 0.28
3 google.com/coop 0.08
4 google.com 0.07
5 sphere.com 0.05
6 eurekster.com 0.04
7 blogbar.org 0.04
107.98%

Trackbacks


Domain % of Blogs
1 technorati.com 0.91
2 haloscan.com 0.13
3 wholinked.com 0.03
106.75%

Video

Our survey is focused on widgets that are permanent fixtures on a blog, not those that are embedded in posts. However, our crawler makes a note of widgets found in front-page posts, and these are primarily video widgets. Here is a graph of relative popularity of video widgets in blog posts.

Methodology

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 automatically 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.

Our crawl is “centered” on blogs with our Lijit widget. (Or as we call it, the Lijit Wijit). Our crawler then expands outwards by following blogrolls. This may give a bias to the overall results.

CSIA DEMOgala

Oct 5, 2007

We are excited to be attending the CSIA (Colorado Software and Internet Association) DEMOgala next Thursday, October 11, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in downtown Denver. This gathering will mark the third annual celebration of technology innovation in Colorado and Lijit is one of 40 different companies that will be participating in the Innovation Showcase. (Hmmm….first the BCBR IQ award and now this…) We are honored to have been chosen since there will be many familiar faces from the neighborhood including madKast, Me.dium, Villij, and EventVue.

In addition to letting us show off our service, the DEMOgala will also be presenting four different tracks of sessions (educational, trends, business and creation), impressive Keynote speakers (one of which is Brad Feld, an investor of ours), and lots of opportunity to connect with others working locally in the same sandbox.

If you’re interested in new technology and how it’s shaping Colorado, this is one event not to miss.

csia.jpg

We need some Lijit help…

Sep 21, 2007

(This job opening was cross-posted at I quit for Lijit.)

We are in dire need of another evangelist to join our team. Here are a few of the things we are looking for in a potential candidate:

  • creativity, enthusiasm and cleverness
  • willingness to embrace the start-up culture
  • effective communication skills
  • interest in the web 2.0 space and curious to learn more
  • desire to help us with our rapid growth
  • deep love for the email

The evangelists are in charge of gathering new user feedback, acquiring new users and taking care of current users. In addition, we do a nice mixture of PR, promotions, marketing, blogging and user advocacy. If you feel you have what it takes and are located in the Denver/Boulder area, please send me an email with your resume, explaining why you want to drink Lijitos work with us. And yes, this picture is meant to an enticement…

An artsy Lijit cocktail

If that doesn’t do the trick, we offer full medical benefits, a super casual work environment, stock options and the opportunity to work alongside some of the best people around. Come on…don’t you want to be Lijit?

The art of subtlety

Sep 19, 2007

Sometimes we release new features that are big, glitzy, flashy, and scream, “Hello! I am a new feature! LOOK AT ME!” Other times, the features we release are more subtle. Things you have to look for. Things that quietly beckon you to try them. “Come here, gentle user,” they say. “Click me.” I love those kinds of features and we released a couple last night.

If you haven’t visited your stats page of late, drop everything you’re doing, and go check it out right now. Seriously. I’m not kidding. We’re embarking on a stats page overhaul and the first of many updates came out last night. Most noticeably, we combined the two “Source of clicked results…” pie charts into one (new name: “Type of Results Readers Clicked”). In the space left over we added a new pie chart, “Where Readers Came From”. This new chart shows you a breakdown of how readers reached you — via Google, other search engines, a direct visit, etc.

Where Readers Came From Pie Chart

We further added a new stats detail page, which you can reach by clicking on any of the terms in the “Last 25 Searches” (new!) or “Top 25 Searches” lists. The detail page shows you exactly when, over the last 30 days, you were searched using these terms, as well as the number of times you’ve been searched about them. Again, these changes are just the first in a long line of enhancements we have planned for the stats we provide you. We hope you enjoy them and hope they help you better understand and serve your readers.

Stats Detail

The other subtle feature we released last night involves little green bubbles. (And no, thank you for asking, we weren’t drinking too many Lijit cocktails when we came up with this feature.) You’ll see them too. On the home page. On your profile page. Give ‘em a click and let them guide you through the Lijit-o-sphere…

Bubbles on Homepage

Explore the world of blogs around you

Aug 31, 2007

This week we added a “Blog Explorer” to Lijit. We’ve done a lot of cool stuff here at Lijit, but I think this might be the coolest thing yet! What is it? Basically, it’s an animated interactive way to surf around the blogosphere, seeing how blogs link to each other.

It’s funny that social networks have been around for years now, but all the major networks still show your friends in boring lists. We’re pretty excited about the Blog Explorer because it represents a giant leap in graphically showing relationships between people.

Here’s a screenshot of it in action:

I’ll describe the three colored zones below, but you can probably figure it out just by playing with it. Click here to try it now.

You can launch the Blog Explorer from the Lijit Search Wijit on any blog. Look for it at the bottom next to the Lijit logo.
Wijit with Explorer

The three sections around the center blog show how the blogs are related.

Blogs in the green zone at the top are friends with each other; they list each other on their blogrolls. In the screenshot above you can see that I’m friends with Ben Casnocha. I have Ben in my blogroll and he has me in his.

Blogs in the blue zone to the right are on the blogroll of the center blog, but not vice versa. For example, I list BoingBoing, but they don’t list me. (Maybe someday!)

Blogs in the orange zone at the left are blogs that list the center blog in their blogrolls, but the center blog doesn’t list them. They are fans of the center blog.

Below the center blog is a detail box showing the URL of the blog, and accounts that the blog owner has on other services. In the screenshot above you can see that I have accounts on Delicous, Twitter, YouTube, and MyBlogLog.

This is our first version, so there are a few limitations to what you can do. Right now the system only knows about blogs that are within 2 degrees of Lijit users. “2 degrees” means that we include blogs that are on the blogroll of Lijit user blogs, and also blogs on those blogrolls. If your blog doesn’t show up, sign up now. Also, we show a maximum of 21 blogs in each zone. We’ll allow you to show more blogs in future versions.

But don’t worry, a lot of good things are in the pipe for future releases. Most importantly, we’re beginning a crawl of the entire blogosphere. We also will be inluding additional relationships besides blogrolls. First up will be your social networks from Delicious and MyBlogLog, with Twitter, Facebook, and more on the way.

We hope you enjoy playing with our new toy. And of course, let us know what you think. This is just the beginning of a whole new way to navigate and use social connections on the internet.