Why I’ve Made aBlogtoWatch Website Traffic Public Information

Why I’ve Made aBlogtoWatch Website Traffic Public Information

Why I've Made aBlogtoWatch Website Traffic Public Information Evolving ABTW

We recently added a new feature on aBlogtoWatch that you'd be forgiven for not noticing. On the aBlogtoWatch "About" page, we've added a small tool that allows anyone to see what our last six months of traffic has been like, which is data pulled directly from Google Analytics (a service that connects directly to our server with our permission and tells us about the volume of incoming internet traffic, and related metrics). We started with some basic stats and may decide to add more details in the near future. Is this some form of bragging? No, that isn't the idea... but we are trying to prove a few important points.

If you are someone who just likes to read about watches from time to time and aren't interested in the business of online media or of the watch industry itself, then you have my permission to just stop reading now. I won't be offended, and I am sure that the articles directly preceding or following this one will be more of what you are looking for (as we like to say, "#watchporn"). This article is about fixing wrongs, taking a strong position on an important matter, and more generally, about promoting the important quality of transparency.

I would be remiss to ignore the very natural tendency for humans to be dishonest or make ill-informed decisions based on ill-acquired facts. We have all, from time to time, been guilty of overstating the importance of something or relying on facts which later turn out to be incorrect. Maturity and education are ideally geared to help people shy away from things such as exaggerating facts or relying on information which has yet to be proven. Those instances when you make an assertion, later fearing you may have been wrong and wanting to correct yourself is social maturity in action - and many of us receive a sense of pride from admitting we were wrong once we have learned the facts.

Why I've Made aBlogtoWatch Website Traffic Public Information Evolving ABTW

Now that I've defended human nature, I am going to admonish humans who disregard their social responsibility to be honest as well as fail to admit when they don't know something. This all leads me to one of the more grimy sides of media: lying about the numbers. In the watch media industry, as well as many others, there is an unfortunate presumption that when traffic or circulation (in print) numbers are shared, they are a lie. Of course, this isn't a rule, but it is often the norm. Sure, it is easy for me to talk loftily and self-righteously about the topic because aBlogtoWatch has numbers which tend to impress. Though, I don't feel as though we got to where we are because of the fact that we were trying to impress anyone. Imagine my surprise when I first learned that some other media websites routinely lie about their traffic. It was the norm in luxury print media (the absolute norm), and as the print industry has continued to give way to online media, many of these bad habits have come to invade our digital space.

Why I've Made aBlogtoWatch Website Traffic Public Information Evolving ABTW

The weird thing is that digital media comes with actual number metrics which are rather easy to verify. While part of this article is to call out those who make up numbers, the other half of the point I want to emphasize is informing many people that they may be relying on false numbers. Because data is so vital to decision making online, there is a whole universe of companies who purport to display the traffic information for all types of websites. There is a not-so-small cottage industry within the marketing world that pummels watch and other luxury brands with offers of preparing all sorts of reports to help them make sense of the digital media landscape. If you consider data as a weapon, then these companies seem to be selling ammunition. The problem is that they don't actually have access to the data which they are purporting to sell or otherwise use.

Why I've Made aBlogtoWatch Website Traffic Public Information Evolving ABTW

Let me use an example to help illustrate the problem here. Marketing Company A wants to sell a report to Luxury Brand B. The report says that it compares the relative value and traffic of a set of specific types of websites. Luxury Brand B is interested because it wants to make a variety of marketing and advertising decisions and has little internal data to support anything. So they like the idea of what Marketing Company A is selling because it seems to help them make better decisions.

What Marketing Company A doesn't properly inform Luxury Brand B of is that the numbers in its report are all estimates - and in many instances, very poor estimates. While there are heaps of tools online which suggest that they have precise data on a website's traffic, the small print always mentions that the data is collected in a variety of ways and that at the end of the day the data could be totally wrong - and it often is.

Why I've Made aBlogtoWatch Website Traffic Public Information Evolving ABTW
End of 2015 snapshot indicating the top aBlogtoWatch traffic source countries

What traffic estimation tools are good at is merely trying to stack up one website versus another - but then again, different tools will offer sometimes vastly different insights. Marketing Company A, of course, doesn't properly explain to Luxury Brand B how to understand the data (or the person buying it simply doesn't know how to properly read it) and thus, serious problems can and do occur.

Think of it this way: people can estimate how much money someone makes or what they are worth, but only the person themselves (or people they specifically allow) know what they have in the bank. Website traffic is pretty much the same thing. Estimates can and do happen, but only a website's own server and the services it allows have any accurate types of traffic data.

My decision to have our monthly traffic publicly available is about removing the possibility of misinformation getting into the hands of people who should know about our business, and also about suggesting to our colleagues how they can behave in a more honest and transparent manner.

In my own writing - which I hope is echoed in the voices of all aBlogtoWatch team members - is a regular call for people to "keep it real," reject bullshit, and to act with fairness toward others and the topics they purport to express opinions about. If we cannot practice what we preach, then what point is there to even say anything at all. It is easy for us to openly criticize something we don't like, but I would rather take simple action to promote what I think is a better approach and set what I hope is a good example.

Why I've Made aBlogtoWatch Website Traffic Public Information Evolving ABTW

I don't think that all of a sudden media websites will begin to make their numbers available to the public. A lot of people consider such information to be of an extremely sensitive and protected nature. While, in my opinion, that sentiment is actually sort of silly, I respect that it is a deeply ingrained belief and that change happens slowly. My real hope is that those people who value transparency and honesty as much as me will see wisdom in what I am doing, as well as inform people who would seek to report or rely on data that they should verify the integrity of those data. It would also be nice to make it more difficult for those people who fabricate traffic statistics - which is really just a form of being grossly unfair.

One more point before I summarize, and that is why I think there is value in this topic for watch consumers. In September of 2015, I participated in my latest AMA (ask me anything) session on Reddit. One of the obvious trends I noticed in questions from watch consumers was a strong sense of overall skepticism and distrust toward the watch industry and media. Thankfully, little of that was directed toward aBlogtoWatch (and I think I successfully cleared up any that existed). I did, however, notice sentiments that indicate a rather intense lack of confidence to rely on a lot of what watch brands are doing and what watch media is generally saying. In response to that, I can only say that "I get it," and that my efforts have been to mention this to watch brands and to focus on conducting ourselves in a way that is meant to be a good example.

Why I've Made aBlogtoWatch Website Traffic Public Information Evolving ABTW

So, in summary, aBlogtoWatch now has a small tool which will allow anyone to know our basic monthly traffic and where most of the people who visit the site come from geographically. We are doing this to assist marketing companies who would otherwise have totally wrong data about us, resulting in misinforming their clients. We are also doing this as an educational means for watch brands who themselves feel that they need some type of verification for what our traffic is. In other words, it isn't something we are trying to hide, and we'd feel a lot more comfortable with it being out there, available for anyone to know and verify. That is all, proceed with the watch love...

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  • mauro tovoli

    congratulations, I think your margin growth is remarkable, especially seeing the percentages of European countries and East Asian

  • Paul Miller

    Well, that’s certainly throwing down the gauntlet to the others! Either they follow suit, or they look like they have something to hide. Of course, they could still falsify – you can take a screenshot from Google Analytics and then Photohop it before making it public, but it would be a little harder to get away with. If I had to bet, I’d predict the others will leave you out there on your own, and here’s why: everyone knows the whole watch industry is crooked and that extends to most watch media and they seem fine living with that reputation, so I can imagine they just don’t care; they’d rather keep their secrets and go on living with a shady reputation. But don’t let that discourage you, because at least YOU will stand out as being ethical and that will serve you well in the long run.

    • I wouldn’t say “the whole watch industry is crooked”, but I will agree that varying degrees of dishonestly exist. More along the lines of not being 100% truthful or not being as open and transparent as Ariel is doing here. All companies have “company secrets” or “trade secrets” so some of this is to be expected. But there are a lot of lies floating about in the industry at any given moment. Cheers.

      • Raymond Wilkie

        Ok,…………….Who is the VW of the watch industry ? I have my guesses , but with threat of prosecution,….I can’t say 🙂

      • egznyc

        As Raymond asks, let me add to the chorus: who are some of the worst offenders, and what are they lying about or distorting? I know, you probably don’t want to name names, and I understand.

    • Ariel Adams

      Thank you Paul.

    • Dinkee, H. O.

      It’s not that as an Elite I have anything to hide. I’m simply so far above and ahead of my readers and the general public, there is no onus on me to share anything.

  • Apart from my association with ABTW, as a small watch brand I have been asked by other watch review websites to advertise with them. And of course the elephant in the room is how many readers do they really have and an even greater question: how many are people who will actually buy one or more watches in the next year? In order to evaluate a watch review website’s ad costs (often a monthly flat fee rather than an impression based model), you really want to know the true traffic numbers (unique monthly visitors is best). But without any way to verify traffic claims, watch brands are shooting in the dark with their ad budget.

    So this move the Ariel helps watch brands spend more wisely. We all complain about the money watch brands spend on marketing. But if this helps them to spend smarter, then it may help reign in ad spending on a per watch sold basis. So while these graphs are more for advertisers, in the end they may just benefit the consumer down stream.

    • spiceballs

      Mark, did you mean “rein” in?

      • Yeah I did. Thanks. Fixed now

      • egznyc

        The reign in Spain …

        • spiceballs

          – – goes mainly down the drein- – – ?

  • Raymond Wilkie

    I am glad to have been part of the 8.4 % from the United Kingdom (looks less on the pie, I guess there are a few sleepers ). hope to keep on enjoying the site for the year to come. Keep up the good work ABTW.

    • Boogur T. Wang

      Ditto the wishes for continued success.

      Proud to be somewhere in one of the the ‘Off the Charts’ countries!

  • Miguel -MO

    Thank you for sharing. At work we say all the time, no need to guess when you can get the data/facts!

  • SuperStrapper

    I knew it would be a dominant share, but I even at that I didn’t expect the US to be that big of a percentage. I’m also surprised that Canada ranks so highly against some prominent countries abroad. Interesting information, thanks for sharing.

    • iamcalledryan

      If it helps, I feed that US traffic figure, but am also a British citizen!

  • Twinbarrel

    Your honesty and independence from ties or expectations from watch brands when you highlight and review a watch on a daily base is key for my reading pleasure. Because it’s honest. You are correct to assume many like to bloat and make them self or their brand more popular than actually is. On your Reddit column I pointed out an issue on the ‘Grail’ columns that some of your guests were taking as an opportunity to promote or upstage their product. That’s so transparent and makes for a less interesting read. ‘opportunity’ can create either thieves or presidents.
    Your openness is commendable and as a longtime reader I know this is just your character but I believe others might not follow suit because too many don’t care. Others might have magazines to uphold their advertiser accounts as well. This honesty could ruin them so coming out now doesn’t do them any good.

  • Twinbarrel

    Agreed. And yet the Canadian watch market still doesn’t get its recognition, let’s say in terms of major watch shows or as in brand boutiques. I guess we’re too humble and honest too…

  • iamcalledryan

    All these viewing figures have given me stage fright!

    • egznyc

      It is remarkable that relatively few of us actually bother to post our comments. Maybe the rest of the viewership actually has lives 😉

  • Josh Graves

    Bravo. Take a bow.

  • Marco Sampuel

    Excellent decision Ariel!! What?!?! Guatemala is not in the chart? I must be the only one reading the blog

  • Mircea G

    congratulations!

  • dr.max

    Hmm, interesting that China is not even cracking top 20 or 30? Could it be language or not including the Chinese version?

    • Joe

      I wondered the same. Could it be that they use VPNs and leave them switched on, and that Google can’t identify these as originating from the real country (ie China)?

      • spiceballs

        I also, but given language difficulties and China’s internet restrictions in general, I think the result is understandable.

    • Ariel Adams

      That is a good question and has you and others have helped point out aBlogtoWatch.com is both visible in China (not blocked) as also loads quickly. My research has indicated to me that people in China tend to have a strong preference for reading content in Chinese, and this is also represented in Chinese search engines. Thus, we need to push forward with content which is actually in Chinese in order to boost China’s placement on the top 20 countries. It is certainly a project on the list.

  • ZBT71

    Thank you Adam. I’ve always thought that ABTW was “doing the right thing” but it still feels good to know that I was right.

    • SN0WKRASH

      yes, thank you, Adam 😉

  • Larry Holmack

    I’ve been reading the Blog since 2009, and formally joined in on discussions in 2010, when I was ill most of the year ( a severe, life threatening allergic reaction to an antibiotic that put me in the hospital for nearly 4 months, and then I had a cancerous growth removed from my left shoulder blade, followed by a very large blood clot in my right femoral artery that required more time in the hospital ) and reading your blog was a big part of my day!!!

    I never formally thanked you and your staff for the effort they put forward to write, photograph, and make videos of all the wonderful watches!!! Your morning email is still the first thing I look for each morning…and although I don’t post a comment on each entry, I always read and enjoy every entry, and of course all the comments!!! Being disabled and home bound is no fun to say the least….but A Blog To Watch always makes my day!

    • Raymond Wilkie

      Jesus ! Larry, please have a good new year !

    • Glad you are still with us Larry. Happy new year.

    • Larry Holmack

      Thanks guys!! Yeah…since 2011 I’ve made only one New Years resolution…..stay out of the hospital!!! So far….no trips back there!!! Docs figured out why I was having the blood clots and have me on medication to control the clotting….and I am monitored bi-weekly at a special clinic here in the Austin Texas area.

      So Happy New Year everyone…have a healthy New Year!

  • Ulysses31

    The watch consumer today who has more than a passing interest in the industry is too smart to fall for a lot of common marketing tactics employed by the industry heavy-weights. The cynicism we have is generated by companies who are overly-secretive about their methods and means, and several younger brands who, jumping on the bandwagon thinking they can make it fast in a lucrative industry, promise more than (or a product different from) what they can deliver. I’ve learned a lot from this blog over the years and i’ve stuck around because even if I don’t agree on every point made, I can trust that whatever is said is rarely exaggerated or anything other than the bare facts. Perhaps exposing the industry for what it is robs it of some of its glamour, but it’s necessary if consumers ever hope to avoid getting ripped off and exploited.

  • Fady337

    One word, ‘Responsible Marketing”.
    Keep it up.

    • SuperStrapper

      I’m pretty sure that’s two words…

      • iamcalledryan

        Yup, just finished counting: 2 words.

    • Raymond Wilkie

      That’s two words : )

    • Fady337

      Yeah I missed it. “Two words” 🙂

  • Michael Kinney
    • Ariel Adams

      Wow – that article you linked to from Wired one of the most irresponsible and self-serving articles I have read in a while. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. I feel compelled to respond because it is so irresponsibly manipulative I can now understand why people trust very little of what they read online.

      The article on Wired essentially comes from its parent company Conde Nast – which they mention by sort of gloss over in the beginning. I should note that I used to religiously read Wired because before the publication was acquired and the intelligence of the content dropped precipitously.

      First of all the title is utterly misinforming. “Page views don’t matter anymore?” All that is, is a measurement of traffic. That is like saying “data doesn’t matter, so just go back to making emotional decisions.” Data matters to the degree the user understand where the data comes from and how to use it. The article then goes on to complain against fraud, advertisers who don’t understand how to interpret data and click bait. Sorry, the title of the article itself is in fact click bait.

      There are truths in there such as the fact that advertisers over state the importance of certain metrics, don’t look closely at the totality of data available, and that certain publications have done nasty things to inflate their numbers by ticking consumers or engaging in fraud. With that said, they seem to suggest that more raw data like pageviews should be discarded. What nonsense. Of course pageviews should be taken into consideration with other available data such as engagement, etc… when contemplating how to spend an advertising budget. But to present an argument that measuring traffic and sharing that information with an advertiser to explain the relative importance of a site is someone outdated or wrong is deeply irresponsible.

      The article fails to discuss how large traditional publishers have replaced or deeply supplemented traditional editorial with advertorial and shill content designed to offer a different type of advertising the totally ruins the traditional relationship readers have with media. That relationship is a simple agreement that in exchange for the editorial they want, they will check out some relevant ads surrounding it. Pretty much like how all important newspapers and magazines used to be.

      The economy of advertising has shifted from publications working for the advertisers rather than working for the readers because subscription money is much more difficult to get online. Publications have a duty to educate advertisers and push back when the advertisers immediate needs would jeopardize the editorial integrity of that publication. Over years of pressure and looking to increase profits, publications have given in to advertiser demands to produce content for them which is not readily apparent as advertorial. Advertisers have thus been given carte blanche to demand as they please because they know most publications rely on their money to survive. While this is true, in the process of doing so, aggressive advertising interests have decimated one by one many traditionally great publications by eroding away of their utility to consumers, and thus have reduced their audience numbers in kind.

      Anyhow, it is a much bigger discussion but as you can see the article on Wired is presenting an intentionally selective mere snapshot of a larger issue that without greater context, and in my opinion is highly misleading and only serves to promote the interests of the advertising selling group to which it is meant to assist. It is outstanding the animosity that some publications have to the notion that cultivating a strong reader base by offering useful content and treating them with respect is best policy for creating a strong publication, and then explaining to advertisers that the value those publications have to them is not what they can do for the advertisers directly, but rather the relationship they have with their audience. Thanks again.

      • Shinytoys

        agreed…

      • egznyc

        Some very thoughtful observations you’ve made – I just wish you had done so using fewer “column inches,” so I could get back to your watch content (yes, I know, no one was pointing a gun at me). 😉

  • Refreshing decision Ariel! Thanks for being so open. I hope others will follow.

  • spiceballs

    Honesty IS (ultimately) the best policy. Always good to see someone actually practising it. Many plaudits to you.

  • dj heidihoe

    I like this blog a lot and read almost every day. I dont comment so much, but thats just my way.

    I am impressed by this honesty.

    If you read the about box in on the right side it says:
    In december the number was almost 3 million.

    Congratulation to ariel and team.

    Feel free to update the text in that little box.

    • SN0WKRASH

      Thanks, dj, for the support. Just want to clarify something… a person may come to the home page (that’s one pageview) then click on an article and read that page (pageview #2), so while we have recently hit 3 million pageviews, for most sites there are always fewer unique visitors (people) than pageviews. So, maybe someday we will get to 3 million unique visitors, but for now, we need to keep that wording in the box if we are going to be honest 🙂

      • egznyc

        Hmmm … Thanks for clarifying. But is it really true that a large number of unique visitors are just viewing ABTW just once each month? That would have to be true if some of us – like myself – are viewing nearly every watch review you put out. 😉

  • cg

    Honestly…. do I need to know this? Not really. It’s your data property and you can do with it whatever you like. The transparency is nice but keep those reviews and pov’s with strong opinions on track. I’m just a consumer and watch fancier…. not an expert by any means. Data and industry analysis is well left to others that buy and sell advertising and marketing. If they’re bribing you just let us know! That’s the juicy stuff….

  • Dinkee, H. O.

    I hear by call PILLAFFAL on these stats! Hodinkee has 2,000,000 views a month! How could A Blog to Watch, where it has been demonstrated that there isn’t even a basic understanding of the inseparable connection between watches and lifestyle — which doesn’t even sell branded blazers or hold $3500 a ticket watch collecting summits — POSSIBLY have more views! You don’t even understand how important it is to CONTROL THE MESSAGE and filter and censor posts from the Great Unwashed before they are posted! Why, you aren’t even friends with rock stars and NBA superstars! And Ralph Lauren, the new Master of Horology, certainly wouldn’t have A Blog to Watch over to discuss his latest wooden bezel designs! I call PILLAFFAL!

    The HO

    • Marius

      Good argument. On top of that, please don`t forget the Hodinkee Talking Watches, where Clymer, Benjamin personally reviews the collection of famous people such as a rock singer, a Mexican TV presenter, an NBA player, a white-haired Italian super collector, a black-haired American mega collector, and Biver. I mean, was Adams, Ariel ever invited to the private Biver residence in Switzerland? I don`t think so. Has Adams, Ariel ever been invited to the private residence of the white-haired Italian super collector? So where does ABTW get this numbers?

      • Ariel Adams

        For the record I have been to Mr. Biver’s private residence…

        • G Street

          Yes, but were you invited or stalking him? 🙂

    • TrevorXM

      It’s your pretentious watch collector lifestyle promotion, Clymer, that makes your blog a distant second to A Blog To Watch. Your ridiculous bloated-price merchandising, the attempts to do a Robb Report style tie-in with stuff like new Ferrari reviews (on a watch blog!?), the endless name-dropping and elbow rubbing with idiotic celebrities, the carefully trimmed “3 day growth” beard, the stupid, arrogant raised eyebrows over sleepy eyes as you smugly address the camera — and on and on. And, as you state, your censoring of any posts and “controlling the message” so your precious celebrity guests like Ralph Lauren (the most derivative and pathetic “designer” in the world, and now the biggest joke in horology) aren’t offended — this is probably your most offensive trait. You are exactly the opposite of people with integrity like Ariel Adams on this blog or even Zach from worn&wound (who features lower priced yet interesting watches).

      I just wrote a big rant I should probably just delete and forget about, but I’m not going to. You, Ben Clymer, are exactly what the world of watch lovers does not need.

      • iamcalledryan

        Please tell me you do not think this guy is Ben Clymer. He is a one-trick irony gag.

      • I_G

        Who the hell is Benjamin Clymer?

  • ??????

    Singapore is on the 4th place – watch lovers’ concentration should be really high on the island! Anyway, greetings from SG (currently staying here) and Belarus (my home country)!

  • Nelson

    Blogs can buy fake traffic but there will be no engagement and no conversations. The engagement on Ablogtowatch is so high as it is the world’s most powerful watch blog. Take my hat off to Ablogtowatch for being transparent. Perhaps, this blog can also display the number of shares for blog posts.

  • Thank you for this Ariel, and congratulations for your honesty. I always thought with Google Analytics there was no room for misinformation, but I guess I am just naive (“dumb” is another adjective I hear often lol).

    Let me add one thing to perhaps consider: according to the anyalitics of my own website US is the third country as regards visitors after Spain and Mexico, which tells you how important the Spanish-speaking community is even without taking into account Spain and Latin America.

    Also, I am the 1.09% :oP

  • Dodi

    Numbers are highly inflated due to click bait tactics. Few examples: the only blog which content cannot be read in watchville app without opening full site (2 page views instead of one). Majority of posts are split in two pages for no reason (2 page views). So presented numbers should be divided by 2-3 to give more accurate view.
    Wondering how much did watchville app play a role in page view numbers over time.

    However do like the content and work abtw are doing. Thanks

    • Ariel Adams

      Pageviews are a raw number of all displayed pages and they are broken down into visits (sessions), and unique visitors. One average our audience views 2.2 (roughly) pages per visit so if you do the match you can break down the users as a function of the total page views. Nothing we are hiding.

      As for the page splits where some articles (not this one) are divided into two pages we do this for a number of reasons and have gone back and forth over time testing. I’d say a primary reason are page loading times. The pictures we use are large graphics and given that so many of our users come from mobile devices we need to ensure fast loading times. But splitting large amounts of images on two pages we’ve helped increase page loading times. There are various ways of doing this and we continue to test for the best user experience.

      RJ on Fratello watches wrote a comprehensive article that echoes our need to regulate Watchvilles use of our content:

      http://www.fratellowatches.com/letter-from-the-editors-why-weve-left-watchville/

      Thanks for your interest in this discussion.

      • Dodi

        Thanks for the link to fratello, your comment explained it well why abtw posts appear as such in watchville app. It raises good comments/questions on watchville’s longer term business model – agree that they need to keep actual content creators/providers happy otherwise will become a short term success.

        Single page posts would be appreciated or at least making next page link easier to hit (without zooming) on mobile device.

        • SN0WKRASH

          I will make that pagination link larger for you on the phone – check that out in the next few days 🙂

          • Shinytoys

            plus one for using the word pagination correctly in a sentence !

      • David Sparks

        I was thinking the same thing about page splits. I’ve never seen any reason to do them other than to inflate page views, but maybe that’s because I find them a bit of an irritation.
        It may increase loading times a little on a single page but I’m also loading all of your ads and any non-cached content twice, is there still a net saving? Could you not find a better way to handle that via responsive techniques etc whilst keeping articles as one page?
        Also what is the cutoff? The “Best From” weekly round ups spring to mind, a page split for 10 – 12 images doesn’t seem necessary.
        As I say maybe I’m just more against them as I don’t splits as a usability thing.

        Still, being honest about your stats as they are is fair enough and a good step. Maybe include number of users there as well as page views?

      • SN0WKRASH

        I think Ariel meant that by splitting the images over two pages we *decrease* the page loading times, which is what does happen. The page load times are not only a concern for our
        visitors, but it is also a large part of Google’s algorithm and ranking
        assignment… the longer a page takes to load (when their bot crawls
        it), the lower Google ranks it in their search results. We make a concerted effort to balance a lot of factors that go
        into decisions for individual articles.

        • iamcalledryan

          I must say that I am not a fan of the two-pager, and while your reasons make sense for google, they are at the expense of user experience.

          I would actually prefer less full-scale images and full text if it meant that the *single* page loaded quicker.

      • G Street

        So why don’t you withdraw from Watchville like Fratello and Monochrome did rather than your current agreement? Strikes me as wanting your cake and eating it.

        • Ariel Adams

          There was never an agreement with them in the first place – they just started using our and other website’s content. We don’t like to limit how our audience discovers our content, but if we can’t at least enjoy the fruits of our labor sufficient to afford producing new content then what is the point? We totally understand the convenience of aggregator tools which allow people to view related content in one source, but at the same time we need to ensure that the terms of that usage is fair.

          • G Street

            Ok, now I’m really confused! I thought there must be some agreement, especially seeing as how it went from full articles to ‘this site doesn’t allow full articles’….

          • Ariel Adams

            We made a request to them (which I don’t exactly consider an “agreement” in the formal sense) to remove the full content and said that we would allow article snippets with a link to see the rest. The people behind the app do like watches and attempt to offer value to readers – so it was my goal to find a solution that helped keep a smooth experience for watch content readers out there. I can’t comment as to why other publications haven’t also requested this type of display of their content.

          • G Street

            Fair enough and all the best to you.

          • G Street

            Not trying to agitate btw, genuinely confused given its your content.

  • Dear Ariel and team,

    I am happy that you decided to become transparent about the numbers. I also believe that – as some of your readers pointed out in the comments – that a lot of readers are not bothered or really interested in these numbers, they rather see good content. But like you, we (at http://www.fratellowatches.com) are also confronted by watch brands and other advertisers (or even colleague watch journalists) that base some of their comments or question (or worse: decisions) on wrong information. Although I never published the numbers to our readers directly, you can easily find them on FratelloWatches by navigating to our mediakit. We published the Google Analytics numbers in their for visitors and pageviews. Although we are far away from your numbers on aBlogToWatch, we are doing fine and have no reasons to hide our actual numbers or use vague third party tools like TrafficEstimate.com (based on Alexa toolbar ranking) and show those.

    Thanks for being transparent and publishing this post.

    RJ

  • Shinytoys

    First, knowledge is power, and if you want to survive, especially in the blogging world, you should be interested in who is reading what you are writing. How cool is it that ABTW has readers in Norway, Russian and the Philippines? What wouldn’t be cool is if those countries registered as Ariel’s prime readership as they are listed in their percentages. Ariel, would quickly need a new career, say legal counsel, to put food on his table and clothes on his back. For most bloggers, unless you tap into a hugely popular vein that has money dripping from it, blog owners don’t make a whole lot of scratch for their efforts. I’m not certain if ABTW is running in the black, but I hope it is because I like the page, and not breaking even can have a catastrophic effect on one’s manhood. We as current internet users are being tracked all the time. IMO, Facebook should pay it’s members for all the information they share on their pages. I wonder what that information source generates in advertising capital?
    So, I say good for you Ariel. Be smart and proactive, not reactive and behind the eight ball.