Traffic flow

The Hitwise blog is always interesting. They refer to the Udell/Bezos interview I cited a little while ago.

First a paraphrased quote from Jeff Bezos: When library patrons use Amazon’s catalogue to research what’s in the library, they’re creating flow through Amazon’s site, and Bezos says he’s all for that. Flow works both ways – it helps the library, but it also helps Amazon because someone might want to buy a used book that is out of print from Amazon. [Heather Hopkins – Hitwise UK: Wikipedia – Where do People Go After Visiting Wikipedia?]

This prompts some investigation of flow, where people have been (upstream) and where they go from (downstream) a site. This flow is becoming a more important part of general network traffic, especially as the benefits of being downsteam beneficiaries of major aggregators of demand like MySpace have been recognized. They analyze the flow through Wikipedia (in the UK) as an example. Wikipedia received 54% of its traffic from Google. And in looking at Wikipedia’s downstream traffic they note:

In doing this analysis, the thing that really struck me was that there are clearly a handful of sites that are viewed as authorities in particular industries (such as Amazon, IMDB, and BBC News). Whilst visits are fragmented among hundreds of different websites in some categories (such as Lifestyle – Blogs, Entertainment – Television, and Travel) in other categories there is one clear authority. [Heather Hopkins – Hitwise UK: Wikipedia – Where do People Go After Visiting Wikipedia?]

In a network space then, major destinations like Wikipedia may also be major flow channelers.
And coming back to Amazon, they say:

Flow seems to be working quite well for Amazon, being among the top recipients of visits from Wikipedia. Firms seeking to be recognised as an authority in a particular industry and seeking to benefit from the natural flow of visits online can learn a great deal from Amazon’s (and IMDB) content and approach. [Heather Hopkins – Hitwise UK: Wikipedia – Where do People Go After Visiting Wikipedia?]

One thought on “Traffic flow”

  1. Thanks for picking up that story. We are trying to think of other ways to illustrate flow. This was a first step – downstream from one site that does channel quite a bit of traffic around the web. The next step will be to find a good way to visualise this across multiple sites and industries to show interconnections, hubs and influencial sites based on both traffic AND links.

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