The Gawker traffic crash: no clickbait means no clicks?

The Gawker Quantcast data shows a huge drop in traffic at Gawker's sites. This comes as no surprise to anyone here at Adland, and y'all who have been paying attention, as Vice's traffic has collapsed as well, and Buzzfeed missed its revenue target by a lot. Oh, and for Gawker there's that pesky detail with the bad PR Gawker brought upon themselves when they taunted Gamergate, brought back bullying, trolled Coca cola, and pretended they had partnerships with Adobe when they actually didn't.

Gawker revised their content strategy shortly after, deciding to report on more political news just in time for a US election year, but this hasn't helped the numbers at all.

The Gawker traffic card shows that March of 2016, with 59.3 unique U.S. visits the traffic went down 10 percent from the preceding March, which posted 64 million visits. Gawker's all-time high was a steady traffic stream of around 80 million, which was in August 2014, you can watch the decline hit after October of 2014. It's been a steady stroll downhill ever since.

In 2010 Nick Denton told Henry Blodget that Gawker relied on sensationalism to draw traffic. Seeing as Gawker were beat by Hulk Hogan in a trial, where the damages totalled $140.1 million, and their first choice in defense was to appeal by calling Hulk Hogan a racist, I conclude that while Gawker the website tries to avoid clickbait sensationalism today, they just can't help themselves in other areas. Will the traffic continue to drop?

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.