News Columns & Blogs

Political sites find Herald's Rossi protest story

Every once in a while, an older story suddenly pops up amid our top traffic-drivers, and the reason behind this is usually interesting.

Such was the case Thursday, when our No. 1 story was about a Walla Walla man being arrested after scuffling with a Richland woman at a Dino Rossi rally.

The story ran in the Herald Oct. 19, and it got decent traffic for a couple of days. Yet Thursday, it raked in another 2,261 page views. Why?

Because three political websites, Huffington Post, Daily Kos and Talking Points Memo all linked to it while writing a short version of their own. So why would three national political websites all happen to link to us the same day? Because just like any news organization, they keep a close eye on each other. If one site seems to get a scoop or links to a story of great interest, the others will quickly follow suit.

In this case, we received 734 referrals from Talking Points Memo, 450 referrals from Huffington Post and 383 referrals from Daily Kos. A referral is when a link from one site to another is clicked on.

Just for fun, check out the three stories and see the twist each put on the event, compared with our original story. You'll see that we play the story straight, simply addressing the facts of the case, while the three political sites take definite slants on it.

Though it would seem nice to get additional traffic from national sources, this is not something we encourage. We prefer to keep our traffic as local as possible because that is most beneficial - and repeatable - to us. For example, I can pretty much gauge how much traffic we'll get each day based on the quality of stories and photo galleries we publish. But getting a spike of traffic from outside of our region is not repeatable and low in quality for our local advertisers.