Thursday, December 03, 2009

Are paywalls really a good idea?

With paywalls comimg back onto the agenda with a bang this week,it is worth reading this post from Steve Yelvington who explains why he believes it is not a good idea.

This is a not a graph that your typical Web metrics system offers up without a struggle, but if you can force it to reveal this data, it's eye-opening. I first pulled this sort of curve out of a Tacoda system half a dozen years ago, and it changed a lot of my thinking.
On the left side, you have awesome reach, both in-market and (as previously discussed) out-of-market. As you get better with SEO techniques, that spike gets even higher.
Most of those visitors come once or twice, probably following a link from a search engine or another website. They're looking for something very specific. They find it (or not) and leave.

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