Press Release - March 2, 2011

Lijit Networks Announces Results of 2010 Publisher Tools Analysis

Adoption of Social Media Tools Grows 80% as Online Publishers Learn to Better Attract and Retain Readers

Boulder, CO - March 2, 2011 - Lijit Networks, Inc., the leader in custom site search and engagement tools for online publishers, today announced the results of its 2010 Publisher Tools Analysis. Within the Lijit Top 50, a list of the top 50 widgets and tools implemented on publisher websites, adoption of social media widgets grew 80% from 2009 to 2010. Widget adoption specifically related to Facebook and Twitter almost doubled, growing from 6.96% to 11.86% deployment. Social media widgets include tools used for social networking, micro-blogging, bookmarking, and photo sharing.

As part of the research project, Lijit surveyed 735,834 websites to collect data on referring traffic and on-site widget deployment. Sites analyzed include all 15,000 sites in the Lijit Network as well as their extended network which incorporates blogrolls and other linked sites. Of the sites surveyed, 84.8% have widgets installed. A widget is defined as "any regularly-occurring functionality on a website powered by an external service, voluntarily installed by the site owner, and powered by Flash or Javascript."

Referring traffic goes social

Three main categories of referring traffic data were analyzed: 1) search engine traffic, which comprised 44.42% of referring traffic; 2) organic traffic (defined by sites linking to each other), which comprised 35.89% of referring traffic; and 3) social media traffic, which comprised 19.68% of referring traffic. Of referring traffic from social media sources, 44% came from Facebook, 41% came from StumbleUpon, 6.7% came from Digg, 5.13% came from Twitter, and 2% came from Reddit. The data verifies that both social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter as well as social sharing tools such as StumbleUpon, Digg, and Reddit are being used to drive traffic to publisher websites.

“Online publishing has become a two-way street and those who are most successful have learned to use social media to build highly engaged, conversational communities of readers,” said Todd Vernon, CEO and founder of Lijit Networks. “Social media tools should not only be used to attract new readers but also to engage and retain them by allowing people to post comments, receive feedback, and share relevant information.”

Adoption of reader engagement and site monetization tools

In addition, publishers continued to adopt tools to learn more about their audience, keep readers on-site longer, and better monetize their websites. Specific examples from the 2010 research study include:

  • Many content and engagement tools joined the Lijit Top 50 list for the first time in 2010. These tools include Twitter’s image sharing service, LinkWithin, Wibiya, and Tynt.
  • Related content tools used to keep readers on-site longer didn’t make the list of Top 10 tools in 2009 but are now being used by 3.68% of sites surveyed.
  • Online advertising services continue to track at a 20% adoption rate; however, new monetization tools used in affiliate marketing programs such as Skimlinks, Infolinks, and Amazon saw a 16% increase in 2010.
  • Audience analytics tools from Quantcast are becoming much more prevalent. Over 44% of the sites that use analytics use Quantcast to gather reader data, representing a 15% year-over-year growth.

Lastly, of particular note are website commenting systems which also integrated social media components in 2010. Disqus, used on almost 75% of the sites that use a 3rd party comment provider, now supports social media commenting and sharing on Facebook and Twitter. In addition, Twitsteps, a Twitter-powered commenting system, now ranks the second most widely used commenting system after growing 356% in 2010.

For additional information on Lijit’s research and methodology, please visit http://www.lijit.com/blog/2011/03/02/lijit-study-shows-publisher-adoption-of-social-media-tools-grows-80/.

About Lijit Networks, Inc.

By helping publishers engage and understand their readers, Lijit has created a trusted publisher network – including more than 15,000 sites, one billion page views per month, and 90 million unique visitors – that advertisers and brands leverage to build relationships with their target audience. Lijit’s innovative site search and content discovery tools collect and report on reader intent, behavior, demographics, and other actionable insights. The data is used to build custom integrated advertising campaigns that leverage social media and authentic content to encourage interaction, increase brand awareness and deliver intent to purchase. Learn more at www.lijit.com.

Contact:
Sonya Caprio, Director of Marketing
720.266.5193 (office)
303.493.5495 (fax)
sonya at lijit dot com