We all scan headlines, whether it’s the printed newspaper, Techmeme, Huffington Post, Hacker News, Seeking Alpha, Google Reader, Google search results, or Twitter. That’s the way we consume information. For any given set of headlines, we might click on one link and read a full story. That’s the way I’ve been reading the newspaper since I was a teenager.
So it should not be surprising to anyone that the same is true online. Arnon Mishkin, a partner at Mitchell Madison Group, has a post on Paid Content where he asserts that:
We did a study of traffic on several sites that aggregate purely a menu of news stories. In all cases, there was at least twice as much traffic on the home page as there were clicks going to the stories that were on it.
What that says to me is one out of every two visitors found nothing they wanted to dig deeper on when visiting one of these link pages. And that may well be true.
But it does not mean that the other 50%, who did click on a link and go visit a story, are not valuable.