2011 a year of record growth for


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A note to the staff from Managing Editor/Online Jimmy Orr:

No better way to put it: 2011 was a remarkable year for journalism at the Los Angeles Times on the digital front.


Not only did our overall readership soar by unparalleled numbers but we recorded significant growth in every major category.

We’ll go through a few of those categories here, but suffice it to say that we’re reaching more readers and engaging with them better than ever before.

Much of our success can be attributed to the fact that we are jumping on news when it happens. Year-over-year readership on our blogs increased by 139%.

As you’ll see by the top 10 most-read stories (below), our enterprise journalism was also very well-read. It probably won’t surprise you to hear that Christopher Goffard’s two-part series recounting the ordeal of a man falsely accused of viciously attacking the mother of his young son was our most read online story in 2011.

Congratulations on a terrific year.

Page views

After only growing by 1.6% in 2010, we exploded in 2011, growing by 28% and topping 2.1 billion pages read. Outstanding.


Monthly unique visitors Talk about explosive, we grew in this category by 34.2% year-over-year. That’s more than three times the growth rate we had the year before.

Blog page views

As mentioned before, the real-time reports from our blogs generated a 139% growth rate year-over-year. That’s more than four times the rate from 2010.

Offsite reach

Meeting the readers where they look for news is integral to consistent growth and key to growing new loyal readers. To that end, we grew our offsite referrals by more than 89%, compared to a decrease of 25% the year before.



Google is where most people search for news. It’s critical we compete better here than our competitors. We do. Traffic here increased 112% clobbering 2010’s decline of more than 30%.


Social media continues to be a great driver of readers to our site and allows our readers to engage with us like no other medium. Followers on our main Facebook account have increased by 568% year-over-year. Followers on our main Twitter account jumped by 209%. As for total referrals on Facebook and Twitter, we generated an increase of 234%.

Return visits

We want people coming back. And we know exposure to our journalism will bring them back. Stats don’t lie. This is happening. We’re up 23% year-over-year. This is the value of meeting readers where they congregate.

Visits with 2+ page views


Once people land on, we want to keep them here. Retention has been a big priority for us and it’s paid off. We’re up 20% in this statistic -- a huge increase over 2010, which recorded a static 2% growth rate. Nice job!

Time on site

When we dedicate resources to our award-winning data projects and outstanding storytelling presentations, people stick around. Visits lasting longer than 5 minutes increased by 14% year-over-year. That compares with 7% growth the year before.

Consistent growth

Flukes don’t count. We have to maintain steady, consistent growth. We can’t rely on spikes. And in 2011, we didn’t. Over the last six months in 2011, we increased the number of days over 5 million page views by nearly 7 times.

Top 10 Blogs

1. Framework: 146 million
2. L.A. Now: 119 million
3. Ministry of Gossip: 36 million
4. Politics Now: 33 million
5. Hero Complex: 32 million
6. Technology: 30 million
7. Show Tracker: 30 million
8. Nation Now: 27 million
9. Travel: 27 million
10. Fabulous Forum: 19 million

Top 10 Stories/Posts

1. Could this be happening? A man’s nightmare made real -- Christopher Goffard: 1,103,633
2. Steve Jobs dies at 56; Apple’s co-founder transformed computers and culture -- David Sarno, Christopher Goffard: 949,511
3. In this assault case, puzzle pieces don’t fit -- Christopher Goffard 893,532
4. Nation Now: Google shows evolution of art -- Amy Hubbard: 857,550
5. Booster Shots: Judging penis size by comparing index, ring fingers -- Thomas H. Maugh II: 857,413
6. Schwarzenegger fathered a child with longtime member of household staff -- Mark Z. Barabak, Victoria Kim: 839,465
7. Money & Co.: Three largest online poker sites indicted and shut down by FBI -- Nathaniel Popper: 758,503
8. A man’s castle, under code enforcement siege -- Ann M. Simmons: 735,309
9. Politics Now: Herman Cain steps up attacks on Occupy Wall Street protests -- James Oliphant: 721,610
10. Technology: Test of hypersonic aircraft fails over Pacific Ocean -- W.J. Hennigan: 666,401


Source: Omniture