The Shockingly Rapid Success of FiveThirtyEight.com

allfive11.jpgWe’re little more then a day away from the end of this endless election and that means political sites are going into hyperdrive. One of the great success stories of this election cycle is FiveThirtyEight.com, which has been everywhere, and seen a huge increase in traffic as a result.

In a post earlier today, the site detailed its October’s numbers:

3.63 million unique visitors
20.57 million site visits
32.18 million pageviews

Impressive stuff for a site that’s so new. The Huffington Post recently reached 4.5 million uniques in September, which was touted as a huge success. If FiveThirtyEight.com’s numbers are to be believed, it would have more uniques then all political sites except HuffPo.

But are the numbers accurate?


Web site visitors, however, are notoriously fickle and unreliable. No one place that claims to track them is entirely accurate, and Sean Quinn, who penned the post, doesn’t mention where these numbers came from, so we checked out Alexa to see how FiveThirtyEight.com compared with other popular political sites. [UPDATE: In the comments, Quinn writes in saying that the number came from Google Analytics.] As the graph shows (a bigger image is after the jump), it still trails HuffPo, The Drudge Report, Politco and RealClearPolitics, but has been making huge strides in terms of site popularity, while the ranks of the others has essentially stayed flat.

If nothing else, the traffic explosion is impressive. As Quinn writes, “Who knew a Chicago-based baseball stathead, a Commerce/Bike-based poker player and a SF-based documentary filmmaker could break through like that?”

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