Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Findory traffic growth Q1 2006

Findory.com has been live since January of 2004. The website has grown rapidly over the last two years.

Every quarter since Q4 2004, I have posted charts showing Findory's growth. The Q1 2006 numbers are now in:
Chart of Q1 2004 to Q1 2006 Findory.com traffic growth
As in the previous posts ([1] [2] [3] [4] [5]), the data show total "viewed hits" (hits excluding robots and redirects) for each quarter. Viewed hits for March 2006 were 5.8M, viewed page views were 4.7M. Total hits (including robots, redirects, etc.) on the Findory.com webservers in March 2006 were 9.5M.

The chart shows Findory growth slowing a bit in Q1 2006, down to about 8% per month (24% per quarter) from the 16% per month of the previous quarter.

The slower growth is not surprising. Development at Findory has been clipped and PR efforts reduced. In addition, my analysis of the effectiveness of our (tiny) advertising budget showed it was converting poorly, so I decided to eliminate it. All of these could impact Findory growth rates.

Findory was cash flow positive for all of Q1 2006. On top of our continuing growth, this is good news. The extra cash Findory is generating is modest, sufficient for an additional server or two for the cluster, but definitely nice to have.

Looking toward the future, I would like to see Findory move into other products (pictures, video, podcasts), further develop our personalized advertising, work on a more mature version of our alpha personalized web search, improve support for mobile devices, add additional customization features for power users, expand the breadth of our news and blog crawls, and offer internationalized versions (German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese) of Findory.

There is much to do!

6 comments:

Todd said...

Interesting to compare these stats to Alexa: http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details?&compare_sites=&y=p&q=&size=medium&range=6m&url=findory.com

Alexa shows declining pageviews and reach for Findory starting in January.

Do you think Alexa is accurate?

Greg Linden said...

Hi, Todd. Yes, Alexa data is well known to be inaccurate. Alexa acknowledges this, saying that the stats only come from people who have installed the Alexa toolbar, a tiny sample that is heavily biased.

As you can see from the chart you cite, Alexa data is extremely noisy. The Findory website does not see wild daily fluctuations that appear in that Alexa data. The most likely explanation for those fluctuations is a small and biased sample.

Alexa is also trivially easy to manipulate. Here are two ([1] [2]) of many posts from people talking about ways to manipulate Alexa ranking. Simply asking a couple people working at your startup to install the Alexa toolbar seems to be sufficient to yield a large jump in your website's Alexa rank.

Rich Skrenta said...

Alexa hasn't been tracking against either our server logs or Comscore for the last few months. I'd say the fraction of people with the toolbar installed must be going down.

Shawn Smith said...

Greg, I continue to use Findory as my single source for RSS reading and finding the latest news on the internet. It is simply great. If you are looking for a good PR story I would love to write one for you. I keep wondering when you are going to start charging for power user services.... I wouldn't mind handing over a few bucks for the great service and functionality!

In my mind you have services like bloglines/feedlounge beat. For someone who had very busy days at work and at home with kids it is nice to just glance at my favorites and get the major gist of what is hot...

Keep up the great work!

Shawn

Greg Linden said...

Thanks, Shawn! Glad you are enjoying Findory!

Arnie said...

Greg - I couldn't tell from your post whether you were happy or sad about the results of slower growth - regardless, congrats on continued growth (even slower)UP is never a bad thing!