TechCrunch not dead yet

Jeff Roberts at PaidContent claims that TechCrunch's traffic is plummeting.

TechCrunch, the long-time darling of the digerati, is smashed to bits and all of AOL’s horses and men will be hard-pressed to put it together again. The site has lost almost every one of its top writers and traffic has dropped sharply, dropping by 35 percent from a year ago. ... On top of the declining traffic, an editor at popular aggregator Techmeme, which TechCrunch at one point dominated, noted yesterday that the tech blog is already sliding down its “leader board.”

It eventually becomes clear, however, that Roberts sources the claimed traffic decline to ComScore. Providers of traffic estimates and samples are not entirely candid about their methodologies, valuable as they are in competing for the advertising industry's attention. Moreover, they tend to give lowball figures for sites who don't sign up for (or stop using) expensive direct measurement services.

As for the TechMeme leaderboard, TC's slid from first place to ... first place. The editor, Lidija Davis, didn't say quite what Roberts claimed she had.

This doesn't mean that TC's readership isn't falling, or that it isn't going to lose its top spot at Techmeme to The Verge. What it means is that traffic measurements from Alexa, ComScore, and the like might be bullshit; and, therefore, any "news" based on them.

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