A look at who has and who hasn’t gotten that kiss of death in climate communications
One of the more common woes mentioned by climate activists that suffer from bafflement over the tenacity of climate skepticism goes something like this: “if we could just communicate the urgency of climate change, everything would be better”. They think it’s just a matter of tweaking the message, rather than the message itself.
The other day, I wrote an article Another eco-journalist leaves Grist and noted the high bounce rate of the grist.org website, referencing a Mashable article that is the source of the phrase that is the headline. An article on Google Analytics says that:
If you could only choose one metric to look at, Bounce Rate might be your best choice.
I noted with interest the almost 2 to 1 disparity between the bounce rate at Grist and WUWT, and thought it worth exploring to see how bounce rate stacks up elsewhere in the climate blogo-media-sphere, thanks to a little inspiration from Josh. Some sites, like the Center for American Progress Climate Progress are served behind larger websites, so measuring their bounce rate isn’t possible. Below, in no particular order, is a table that lists many well known and some not so well known climate related websites and their bounce rate. The results are telling:
All data above gathered as of 3/15/14 via Alexa.com, and each link is to the alexa.com results.
* Global Traffic Rank score, lower is better, for example Google is ranked as 1.
The most surprising thing to me was finding that NOAA’s climate.gov had a bounce rate of 83.70%, more than twice that of WUWT at 40.90%, and even higher than the “slayers” at principia-scientific. It’s pretty bad when a government website with a budget can’t outperform one of the wackiest climate related websites in existence in engaging their audience. Another surprising thing was that the oxymoronically named agenda driven attack website forecastthefacts had a bounce rate of only 25%. I think this is because there is so little information on their front page that anyone that gets sent there has to click on at least one link (such as about) to figure out who they are. their global ranking is even worse than the “principia/slayers”, suggesting that few are taking them seriously.
From the table, it seems that skeptical websites tend to be ranked generally as having more traffic and lower bounce rates than alarmist websites with some exceptions. Climateaudit tends to have a higher bounce rate due to its highly technical nature, and does Judy Curry’s shop.
According to an Inc.com article:
“As a rule of thumb, a 50 percent bounce rate is average. If you surpass 60 percent, you should be concerned. If you’re in excess of 80 percent, you’ve got a major problem.”
Clearly, a number global warming proponents and some skeptics aren’t very successful in getting their message across on the Internet, NOAA and “Slayers” in particular.
UPDATE: Some folks wanted to see the **daily time spent on each site in minute & seconds per day, so here is an updated table with that added: I had to make this table as an image since wordpress doesn’t play nice with table insertions wider than the available writing space. The highest and lowest values of daily time on site are highlighted.