November 21st, 2008

Link Journalism Drives Page Views and Engagement


There’s an article page on GoVolXtra,’s sports vertical site for the Tennessee Vols, that accounted for 6% of ALL Knoxnews and GoVolXtra article page views for the last two weeks, and as much as 14% of all article page views one of the days since it was first published. The page has consistently generated about twice as many page views as the next most visited page. And the article has racked up nearly 300 comments, becoming a nexus for discussion and debate on the hot topic that it covers — who will replace University of Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer.

What’s notable about this article is that it is almost entirely LINKS:

We’re out to give GoVolsXtra readers the latest in coach sightings right up until the press conference to announce the next head coach of the Volunteers no matter who has the story. Check this list often; we’ll be adding to it.

And check back often they have.

Everyday the article is updated with a fresh roundup of links (saved on Publish2) to coverage of the search for a new coach, including links sent in by readers:

And everyday, fans keep coming back for more.

So you’ve got consistent engagement. You’ve got an article that consistently generates more page views than any other on the site.

What more could you ask for?

As Jack Lail put it in his article on Link Journalism in the latest APME News.

Why this works with sports is because fans are passionate and can’t get enough information on their teams and games. And there is plenty of external coverage from other media, some thousands of miles away, to local bloggers looking to build up their audience.

Here’s perhaps the most important lesson about the success of this effort at link journalism — it didn’t happen over night.

Link-driven coverage roundup articles have been appearing on GoVolsXtra for months, and readers have learned to like them. They’ve come to see GoVolsXtra not just as a source for Knox News Sentinel’s own original reporting on the Tennessee Vols, but for ALL the best reporting and commentary on the Vols.

Most news sites don’t do aggregation, they don’t help their readers find the best content on the topics that interest them. So when they start doing so, it may take readers a while to discover this new dimension of news value.

But once they do, there’s a good chance that they are going to love it. Just like web users have been deeply engaged with news aggregation for years.

If you want to make an investment in growing your page views, audience, and engagement through link journalism, NOW is the time to start.

Comments (8 Responses so far)

  1. [...] attention to competitors’ websites, however, is unfounded. Scott Karp, in Publishing 2.0, wrote up the extraordinary case of an article for GoVolsXtra,’s sports vertical site for the Tennessee Vols. In it, [...]

  2. [...] Link Journalism Drives Page Views and Engagement. Scott Karp’s latest on the power of the link, particularly when you’re dealing with an engaged community. Speaking of Scott, I keep going back to his Nov. 10 post The market and the internet don’t care if you make money, because the conversation in the comments is stll growing and still interesting. [...]

  3. [...] blog, whose creator, Scott Karp, consistently promotes the virtues of link journalism, often persuasively. Karp also puts his money where his mouth is, having recently launched Publish2, a link-only [...]

  4. [...] Seth said the December snowstorm link roundup was on the homepage for three or four days — but it was the site’s most-trafficked story for the entire month. (This tracks with’s success with a popular football link roundup.) [...]

  5. [...] Seth said the December snowstorm link roundup was on the homepage for three or four days — but it was the site’s most-trafficked story for the entire month. (This tracks with’s success with a popular football link roundup.) [...]

  6. [...] suggestions: Embed links in every story running longer than 12 inches (don’t worry, they’ll come back.) Do more [...]

  7. [...] journalism gets the readers Our friends at Publishing 2.0 just posted an interesting article about how link journalism drives page views and engagement. They have a compelling analysis on how some publishers provide [...]

  8. [...] Lail found the same level of interest for’s link roundups on the Tennessee Vols. To me, the roundups look like overload. But they get tons of page views, Jack noted, [...]

Add Your Comment


Receive new posts by email