Money Spending Down, News Interest Up
Visits to places where one can spend money are down or flat compared to this time last year, according to Hitwise. News, however, is hot.
Hitwise’s Heather Hopkins reports that visits to automotive and shopping/classified sites are flat this year compared to metrics taken last September, when both categories showed increases. Flat’s not as bad as decline, though, which is what has happened in the travel sector. Visits to travel sites have fallen by 15 percent, over twice the decline they saw last year at 7 percent.
The obvious answer is the struggling economy—even it is just a “mental recession” among a “nation of whiners.”
News websites, though, are experiencing a lift from the RNC/DNC/Hurricane season. Visits to news sites are up 17 percent over the past month, compared to a 12 percent increase in the same period last year.
Social networks, too, saw their seasonal decline as kids head back to school. Heather provides a nice chart showing the inverse relationship between social networks and the beginning of the school year.