Election coverage sees uplift in online news traffic, The Guardian posts strongest result yet

NieselnMost of Australia’s top news websites saw a increases in the number of online visitors in August, in the run up to the September 7 federal election.

Among the biggest winners was the ABC news website which had an increase in the total number of monthly unique visitors by 460,000 people, going from 1.78m in July to 2.24m in August, and also The Guardian, which had 1.306m Australian visitors to its news websites. The result is the largest Australian audience for the British newspaper since its launch in May, and well up on the 1.02m recorded in the Nielsen Online Ratings last month however, Nielsen noted that this number shows the total number of Australian visitors to the global website not just the new Australian subsite.

Overall, the news rankings remain largely unchanged with the News Corp Australia website continuing to maintain its ranking as the number one news website, with an audience of 3.05m. In August, Ninemsn’s news websites overtook the Sydney Morning Herald’s website 2.85m to 2.64m. The Nielsen numbers also indicates that the Fairfax news website has the highest time spent per person with an average of one hour and 23 minutes per month. 

Most other news websites in the top 10 most visited websites, such as Yahoo!7, The Age, Herald Sun and Daily Telegraph, recorded increases in traffic in August.

Monique Perry, head of media industry group at Nielsen, said The Guardian had retained its position in eleventh place and continued to grow both its unique audience and engagement levels.

“Whilst the broader offering from The Guardian has been available to Australian consumers for some time, the introduction of the Australia specific content has certainly impacted on growth,” said Perry.

“With the recent launch of The Guardian’s advertising campaign in the Australia market, I am certain that we will see this site continue to gain traction,” she said.

Nic Christensen


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