Allen Wastler, the managing editor of CNBC.com, writes Tuesday about what affects traffic to the business news network’s Web site, such as Tiger Woods in a playoff at the U.S. Open on Monday, which caused hits to plummet.
Wastler writes, “Traffic is the life blood of any news site. Predicting when it will be up and down, and why, is a major past time for me and other Net executives.
“Our main driver is, obviously, the market. I’ve often tied it to volume … the more trades on a given day, the more traffic on the site. In fact, earlier in my career, I did some regression analysis on Nasdaq volume and traffic on the business news site I was working for at the time. They positively correlated more than half the time.
“Here at CNBC one of the research guys turned me on to some further analysis done by some of his cohorts. They looked at volume, like me, but also at volatility (the difference between intraday high and low) and price change (the difference between the open and close). After running the numbers in a much more thorough fashion than I could ever hope to achieve, they found volatility was more closely tied to traffic than the other two.
“Now that I write that out, it’s kind of a ‘well, duh’ conclusion. But it makes us traffic-geeks intrigued. There is a big problem, though. You can’t really predict market volume and volatility with certainty either.”
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