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City to Advertise on Beverly Hills Patch

The City Council OKs $10,000 for online ads publicizing events, initiatives and public meetings.

The City Council voted 4-1 Tuesday to start placing on Beverly Hills Patch that promote initiatives, public meetings and events.

The city will pay Patch Media Corp. $10,000 for ads on Beverly Hills Patch. The agreement starts Aug. 1 and ends March 31.

"Beverly Hills Patch has seen significant growth in readership," said Therese Kosterman, the city's media relations manager.

The ads will link to a page on the city's website that contains additional relevant information, Kosterman said.

Councilwoman Lili Bosse asked about tracking Beverly Hills Patch's web traffic to gauge the effectiveness of the city's Internet advertising.

Kosterman said Patch would provide the city with feedback on monthly traffic statistics for its ads on the website.

Vice Mayor John Mirisch cast the dissenting vote.

Based in New York City, Patch Media Corp. is a subsidiary of AOL Inc.

Be sure to follow Beverly Hills Patch on Twitter and "Like" us on Facebook.

cutop July 06, 2012 at 05:33 PM
I missed the meeting on Tuesday and am now curious about Mirisch's dissent. Did he provide an explanation. Of his colleagues, he is by far the most active commenter on Patch. Perhaps he can weigh in on his rationale here. Also, it is interesting to note that BeverlyHills.Patch.com has recently surpassed the daily visits of the Beverly Hills Courier's website. According to Alexa.com, Beverly Hills Patch currently receives approximately 0.36% of Patch.com's overall visits. This can be verified here: http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/patch.com#. Then, go to WolframAlpha to see a side by side comparison of the two sites: http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=http://beverlyhills.patch.com/+vs.+http://www.bhcourier.com/ Patch.com gets about 2.1 million daily visits. 0.36% of that equals 7,560 visits to Beverly Hills Patch. Beverly Hills Courier only gets about 5,700 daily visits according to the data. Maybe Beverly Hills Patch should be getting more than $10K. Anyhow, congrats, Marie. And thank you for the amazing service which you provide to our village.
cutop July 06, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Another comparison which is worth noting is the amount of daily page views each site currently receives. According to the WolframAlpha link above, Patch.com gets about 5.6 million daily page views. 0.36% of that equals 20,160 daily page views for Beverly Hills Patch. Beverly Hills Courier receives about 10,000 daily page views. It's interesting to me because while Beverly Hills Patch has ~75% more visits that Beverly Hills Courier, it also has ~100% more page views; which is to say that the average visitor to Beverly Hills Patch is more engaged with the site than the average visitor to the Beverly Hills Courier is engaged with that site. I attribute this to three aspects: 1) Patch is much more user-friendly, with an interface which is more intuitive than Beverly Hills Courier 2) The comments section of Patch is much more democratic than the Courier's. The Courier screens their comments and thus the lack of meaningful two-sided discussion going on there. 3) In general, Patch's coverage of Beverly Hills news is good old fashion unbiased journalism. The Courier has become mired down in its own point-of-view and bias that its difficult to distinguish actual journalism from the editorials.
Joe Parker July 06, 2012 at 06:24 PM
@cutop Thanks for the info. Quite interesting.
David Murphy July 06, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Hi cutop: Just some notes on your data. As you noted, the data that is listed on Alexa comes from the patch.com domain at the National level - not Beverly Hills Patch. It is not possible to use tools like Alexa and Wolfram (or others) to drill down and get data from a subdomain - only the top domain is available to them(you seem very tech savvy so you probably already know this - just stating for others). Now your calculation of taking the .36% from the top domain data is a good assumption, but I can guarantee you that it is not anywhere near to being accurate. Also know that even if you were looking directly at the BH Patch vs. the Courier data both the data from Wolfram and Alexa are not nearly close to being 100% accurate. If anything, they may or may not even be ballpark correct. Here is an article for those that care to know where Alexa gets its data from: http://www.quantumseolabs.com/blog/marketing/accurate-alexa/ The closest thing to 100% accurate is Google Analytics data, which is not usually made public. (continued)
David Murphy July 06, 2012 at 07:13 PM
But I can tell you that I have seen far more actual data then what comes from Alexa (and Wolfram) and I can guarantee that it is not in anyway comparable to the assumptions you make above. I am not saying this because I am interested in getting into an argument over web statistics (I won't even state in which direction the data is wrong or skewed above), but just want to put out there that you may want to consider that the data you are looking at is not coming from the most accurate source and so I would be hesitant to draw large conclusions from it. Thanks and with respect, David
cutop July 06, 2012 at 10:01 PM
David, thanks for the notes. I certainly agree with you and the article you've liked to about the precision of Alexa. However, in this instance we are comparing Alexa numbers to Alexa numbers, so in that sense it's an apples-to-apples comparison. Even if the numbers aren't exact, we are looking at a controlled sample: those people with Alexa enabled plugins turned on in their browser. And while I agree with you that Google Analytics would provide an even more accurate picture of the traffic of each site, Google Analytics is not "the closest thing to 100% accurate". Rather, server log files (and analytics software which pull from server log files) are much more precise than Google Analytics. Unfortunately, like Google Analytics, server log files are not public. What we do have - what is public - is Alexa. And I wholly agree with what the article you have linked to states: "Alexa is also an important metric when working with advertisers since it does provide some information on rankings of your site so that they can decide whether or not to advertise with you and how much to pay." Advertising dollars is exactly what we are talking about here so the metrics which Alexa provide (and compiled by WolframAlpha) are entirely valid in this context. Based on that data, it is clear that Beverly Hills Patch is much more valuable ad space than the Courier's site and thus deserves at least the $10K share of our city's advertising budget.
Barry Brucker July 07, 2012 at 06:06 PM
Once again the Courier misrepresents what the Council voted for by authorizing funding for banner ads in the BH Patch online news venue. Indeed, the editors of BH Patch allows for free information articles that involve City events, Council agenda items and School happenings. What the City voted 4-1 (Bosse, Brucker, Brien, Gold-YES/ Mirisch-NO) was the purchase of banner ads that appear on the side of an article. These ads compliment the City's commitment to greater transparency and "resident friendly" news and information. These ads are meant to inform the community about important agenda items, building projects, meetings and Town Hall events, subway and Roxbury Park updates, Police & Fire Day events, pending road closures, commission openings and Holiday celebrations and so much more! I, along with Council Members Lili Bosse and John Mirisch have been contributors to BH Patch blog posts as a vehicle to communicate our views to the community. This vehicle of healthy dialogue and information exchange has become a powerful tool for our Community to stay in touch and express opinions freely without the fear that a local Publisher will edit points of view that he may not agree with. The mere fact that BH Patch has over 40,000 monthly viewers and growing confirms its importance to our Community.
cutop July 08, 2012 at 01:34 AM
Mayor Brucker, did Mirisch provide a rationale for his opposition? I'd love to know his thoughts. I have sworn off reading the Courier for over a year now. I am curious about the misrepresentation they made however. Can someone tell me what Clifton wrote so I don't have to break my pledge not to read that "news"-paper ever again. (BTW, I've heard that recently Clifton has been saying that the L.A. Times is out of touch with the people of Beverly Hills... I found this funny, coming for a global-warming denying, union-hating, conservative hardliner publishing a paper in one of the most Democratic cities in Southern California. I agree that Patch is a healthy vehicle for dialogue and information exchange free from editorial control. You report that BH Patch has over 40k in monthly viewers. Where did you get this stat? Is it unique monthly visitors? Maybe Ms. Cunnigham could weigh in here (unless this information is proprietary, of course).
cutop August 03, 2012 at 10:40 PM
UPDATE: According to Wolfram Alpha, the Courier's website visits are dropping. Last month, it estimated the site's daily visits to be 5,700. Now the estimate is 5,600. Click the WolframAlpha link about for greater detail.
Marie Cunningham (Editor) August 04, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Thank you for the encouragement Cutop!
Marie Cunningham August 04, 2012 at 12:13 AM
@cutop I can't disclose exact monthly totals. But perhaps I can answer one question: Has Beverly Hills Patch ever surpassed 40,000 UVs in a month? Absolutely.
cutop August 04, 2012 at 12:23 AM
Thank you for the info. I understand if you can't share more. Though it would be nice to know what the average amount of monthly UVs BH Patch has received in the past year or so... and if you've be seeing that number grow, by what percentage each month?
Marie Cunningham (Editor) August 04, 2012 at 01:41 AM
@cutop Feel free to email me at mariec@patch.com. Best, Marie

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