Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Nuit Blanche Effect: A Click-Through Rate Analysis

Every so often I wonder what is the true impact of this blog. One of the variable I care most is whether or not papers featured here will be read or if links will be followed. Up until recently it was difficult to make a good assessment of these traffics but with the new service offered by The Google through it's new URL shortener, we can get statistics of links that have been clicked on. On the other hand, I still don't know if this is one person doing all the clicking :-) but here are the numbers for this entry on the important Xampling paper,

If some of you feel the numbers are small, you have to ask yourself: When was the last time 45 people read your paper after having read the abstract a day after it was released ?  Additionally, my estimate of the people reading the abstracts is about 1200 which puts the click through rate (CTR) to about 3.75%, not bad at all! For comparison, a Google Adsense CTR revolves around 0.1% or about 37 times less. More specifically, about 6 people clicked to download this article in the same hour they were sent an E-mail about it. There are about 350 people on that Email list, so that's about 1.7% for direct mailing and people taking action to download the document after having read the abstract. This is not bad at all. 

Please note also that readers also click on authors' names/web pages, a clear reason why students ought to invest 15 minutes of their time setting up a webpage (as opposed to updating their Facebooks) as it really counts as a living resume..

The subject of a paper obviously constrains the number of people willing to read it. How about a subject like the web pages of the different classes offered in different places on compressive sensing. Nothing Earth shattering but obviously, this is education related and everybody wants to see how others are treating the subject. How many of the1200 people reading a blog entry either from their RSS feed or by coming directly  here, are willing to click on a link with no new information ? Quite a few, it looks like: about 200 or a giant CTR of 16.7%

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