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Wonder what's new at FindAnyFloor.com or in the technology world in general? Visit Damien's Blog to find out. You'll get some of the latest technology news, emerging trends, and stories from our CEO's travels, businesses and life experience among several industries.

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Damien's Blog

The American Idol Web Traffic Factor

By Damien Patton, (651 words) Posted in Corporate on March 4, 2009
There are (55) comments permalink

American Idol TV Pop Artist Talent Show LogoDuring this American Idol season we have noticed a web traffic trend that is worth sharing with the internet community. At first we thought the drop in internet traffic during American Idol was a coincidence, but as it turns out, several weeks into the new season and the trend is holding steady. Our search engine marketing (SEM) professionals have studied this phenomena dubbed internally at FindAnyFloor.com as the "AI Factor."

Here are the facts:

  • On a normal weekday FindAnyFloor.com averages 12,500 unique visitors per day.
  • American Idol airs from 8pm EST thru 1am EST with the different time zone start times.
  • During non-Idol weekday evening hours, FindAnyFloor.com averages 25 to 35 visitors on the website at any given moment.
  • When American Idol airs, we see the website traffic dip 25 to 40% and maintain that lower rate throughout the AI viewing time.

Some SEM professionals will say that we might be just losing traffic to the website. But despite the few hours of the “AI Factor” during the week, we are actually substantially up in search engine traffic, mostly organically and direct traffic. The American Idol Factor starts on the east coast and lasts for the 2 hours that it is on rolling across the country until it comes on the west coast for an addition 2 hours.

In addition to organic search decline during American Idol we notice the same percentage decline in our Pay Per Click online advertising campaigns. Admittedly PPC is a very small portion of our daily traffic. We have learned to increase our online advertising budget on American Idol days to sustain traffic during the Idol viewing hours.

FindAnyFloor.com is the worlds most visited flooring information website. Certainly we thought that the American Idol demographic was different from our "average" site visitor. But maybe what we are discovering is that American Idol reaches broadly across a wide audience, the young and the young at heart. Here is the strange online traffic fact that we discovered. We all thought that FindAnyFloor would suffer a dramatic internet traffic hit during the Superbowl; but this just wasn’t the case. Trying not to stereotype what we could reason from this web traffic was that women (our largest gender demographic) were looking for home improvement projects while men watched the ball game. Or maybe we had a lot of traffic on our floor cleaning section trying to figure out how to remove beer stains from carpet.

In doing research on American Idol viewer demographics we were surprised to see they were very similar to our typical visitor. This year American Idol is averaging close to 30 million visitors an evening with an average viewer age of 40.3 years old. Women make up a larger part of the audience but only slightly. FindAnyFloor.com's average visitor is between 35 and 39 years of age and is split evenly with women to men.

The good news is that as soon as American Idol goes off the air for the evening, the site comes back to life and our visitor average returns. The question becomes, is this a website wide phenomena or only across certain demographics. I would assume that websites with a younger demographic than FindAnyFloor.com would see a deep reduction in traffic during American Idol, but we don’t have enough evidence of that to say it with certainty.

So what have we learned from this American Idol Factor. Well first, if we had $1.3 million for a 30 second commercial during the final, we might recoup some of our online traffic. But then again, I think $1.3 million in Pay Per Click with Google, Yahoo and MSN might get us a lot more traffic. Anyway, this is all hypothetical as our online marketing budget isn't inline with American Idol advertising costs. At FindAnyFloor.com we are all anxious to see the final this year on American Idol. Not only to see this years winner but to start getting some of our weekday evening internet traffic back.

Icon: author blog About the Author:
Damien is the Founder and CEO of FindAnyFloor.com as well as several other technolgy businesses specializing in social media and search.
image: blog cloud comment

Comments (55)

Bell Helicopter posted on: March 4, 2009

After Read This Post My Opinion Will Be Change, Because From USA We Get Heavy Traffic Comparatively Any Other Country That I Don't Know Before....

Thanks For Sharing Your Knowledge With Us....

Jackie Chandler-Hall posted on: March 4, 2009

American Idol affecting web traffic? I know it does because the foot traffic in my house stops and everyone hits the couch. I thought more than 30 million were watching but maybe that is only tv sets and since there are multiple people in front of tvs it could be more. Thanks for article as I found it on another blog post and followed it here. What is next, monitoring car traffic during that time?

Buttons posted on: March 21, 2009

I agree with your post, and I also came to the same conclusion on my own. My traffic has been dipping on Tuesday and Wednesday nights since AI began.

American Idol posted on: March 28, 2009

I plop down in front of the boob tube during American Idol and as soon as it's done I start surfing for comments.

Never miss a show posted on: April 6, 2009

Ryan Seacrest! Simon Cowell! And my sweet Paula Abdul. How can I miss American Idol. It's shocking to see how much traffic goes down on the web but I can't say I'm surprised. With all the new shows American Idol has been on TV for years and its ratings are off the charts. Im a fan of the show and admit to signing off when it's on! anyone else do the same??!

ryan posted on: April 13, 2009

Does not surprise me in the least.

jerry posted on: April 15, 2009

Seriously interesting research. Can't say it is surprising, American Idol takes over the world when it's on.

Glenn posted on: April 15, 2009

I must be one of the few who is completely uninterested in this show.
To the person who thought that there might be more then 30 million viewers (out of a pop of over 300 mill locally and 6 billion world wide) They usually calculate the average size of the home and multiply by the number of viewers I imagine.

*IVY* posted on: April 23, 2009

not that surprising. I watch American Idol too... its an addiction

bry posted on: May 18, 2009

wow. really... I wonder what the stats are right now? This Idol thing is out of control...

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