The following chart (via Compete.com) of top Internet domains ranked by traffic gains/losses in 2007 is interesting. Other than porn and video, there is not much commonality among the gainers, but it is intriguing that three of the biggest traffic losers in 2007 were auto related: autobytel.com, motortrend.com, and carsdirect.com.
Why would that be? My initial reaction was that there must be something wrong with the data. Compete.com has its critics, and it wouldn’t be surprise to discover it was awry here. Are subdomains being missed? Changed URLs? Read the comments on the Compete.com blog post and you’ll see some people already trying to untangle the numbers.
My second reaction was to muse whether this could have to do with fewer Americans buying new cars. Fewer new cars purchased = less traffic required to car purchasing sites, right? Possibly, but there is no way that you’d see, say, a 5% drop in car purchasing turn into a 90% traffic drop.
The correct answer, I’m guessing, is that it’s all some funky Compete.com data error, but I wonder what. Anyone else care to mull what’s going on here?